The Boston fern is a very popular house plant, often grown in hanging baskets or similar conditions.

Ferns are popular houseplants, however the Boston Fern is one of the most common ferns you see in people’s homes. Arching long green fronds forming an elegant mound characterizes this houseplant. Boston Ferns can reach up to 5 feet so keep that in mind when looking to repot.

Although the fern may appear totally dead due to frost, it will re-emerge in the spring. In general, the Boston fern likes damp, but not soggy soil that is rich in nutrients. Of the common cultivated ferns, the Boston fern is the most tolerant to drought.

The fern thrives best in humid conditions, so when grown as a house plant it becomes necessary to mist the plant when relative humidity falls below around 80%.

It is a perennial plant native to Florida, the West Indies, and Asian Pacific

Growing Conditions:

Boston ferns need a cool, place with high humidity and indirect light.

Light: Bright, indirect light. Some varieties of nephrolepis can be trained to handle almost full sun, but most prefer filtered, dappled light.

Water: Keep the root ball moist at all times. Mist frequently, depending on the ambient humidity.

Temperature: These ferns can survive the occassional blast of cold, down to 50ºF or even slightly colder for a few hours. However, they really thrive between 60ºF and 75ºF.

Soil: A loamy, rich, organic mixture.

Fertilizer: During the growing season, feed with liquid or slow-release pellets

One of the lesser known care tips for a Boston fern is that they do not need much fertilizer. Fertilizer should only be given to the plant a few times a year.

These are very easy plants to propagate: simply divide the plant while repotting in the spring. Even very small divisions will root if care is taken with them (meaning plenty of warmth and humidity). Make sure each division has a section of healthy roots. Ferns can also be propagated by spore, but this is somewhat more difficult.

In the spring, repot into fresh compost, even if it’s not necessary to move up in pot sizes. Divide plants at this time and multiply your collection.

Boston ferns are susceptible to some pests, especially spider mites and mealybugs. If your plant becomes infested, make sure to treat the plant as quickly as possible to keep it healthy.