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Plants in the House - How to Care for an Indoor Fern

Updated on August 11, 2013


There is nothing more beautiful than a fern, to add warmth and beauty to any space. Every Spring, I invest in two or three ferns to add warmth and beauty and grace to any location. When walking in wooded ares, you can find these magnificent plants growing in the wild. They are truly one of nature's most beautiful ornamental greenery!

Ferns have also been used in studies to assess their ability to remove pollutants from the air. So they are superb for outdoors as well as indoors. They are perfect for low light areas or an office space, and if you care for them properly, they will grow and thrive. There are different types of indoor ferns, as well as slightly different growing conditions, to help to keep them healthy.

Boston Fern
Boston Fern

Boston Fern

This plant actually originates from South America, but got it's name when first discovered on a ship bound for Boston. The Boston Fern, as all ferns love humidity. Their curly fuzz covered leaves, and reddish-brown stems are magnificent! They do well in , bright filtered or indirect light. To make sure they grow evenly, rotate them from time.

They do well in a sandy mixture with sphagnum and humus. The best temperatures are between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the day and between 50 and 55 degrees in the evenings. Boston ferns can group up to 4 feet in length. Use a time released fertilizer to ensure a healthy plant.

Button Ferns
Button Ferns

Button Ferns

This fern is a smaller, dainty fern that is easy to care for and survive a little neglect. They like warm temperatures of 60 - 80 degrees. Allow them to dry out between waterings as they don't like to be too wet. They don't like direct light, but can tolerate more sun when in a sunny location indoors. They multiply quickly and can be divided like most ferns. Button ferns can last for decades, with the proper care, fertilization.

Bird's Nest Fern
Bird's Nest Fern

Bird's Nest Fern

This plant got its name, because it grows on trees, and are used as nests; particularly, in their native environment. It can be removed from the tree and planting in a pot. They will take 3 or four house of light a day, and do well in shady areas.

They are good for indoor or outdoor patios or a back deck that doesn't get full sun. They can get to be 2 to 3 feet aside and across. If you want your plant to continue to grow, transplant to a greater pot when it becomes root bound. The bigger the pot, the larger the plant it will produce. It likes to be moist, but not wet. Make sure not to over water this plant. Fertilize periodically, for faster growth and mist from time to time.

Rabbit's Foot Fern
Rabbit's Foot Fern

Rabbit's Foot Fern

This fern is a hardy fern, and you don't have to do much to keep it alive. They are native to Figi and can be found in the trees and dense forests of that country. They really like warm areas and do well as a houseplant, if you follow a few rules. It is considered a novelty plant because they have roots that grown out of the fern that looks like, furry 'rabbit's feet.

They grow best in a handing plant and can take the feet to start another plant. Put them in the shower every few months and make sure they never dry out. They don't like direct light, but filtered light if fine. When this plant stops growing, it is time to put it in another larger pot. At this time, you can also separate the plant to make two of the one.


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    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      teaches12345, I was thinking the same thing about the rabbit fern. I think I would like to try growing one.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I have never heard of the rabbit's foot fern, but I think I would enjoy watching it grow. We have a boston fern and it is huge! Great advice and tips on how to care for them. Ours does enjoy indirect light best. Voted up.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I love ferns too Jaye! I have three on my patio I hope I can bring one in and it survives.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I enjoyed this hub because I adore Boston ferns (as did my late Mom), but I have a poor track record with them. Mom, on the other hand, had one that grew so large it required rollers on its pedestal to move it from one place to another. I would love to successfully grow and maintain a Boston fern. I'll try your tips with my next one.

      All the photos are lovely and show why ferns are such enjoyable plants. Years ago, I had a flower bed in front of the house I lived in at the time that was full of huge ferns (I'm not sure of the genus). They died out in the winter and had to be cut back. One year a huge, though non-poisonous, snake was found under the welter of ferns, possibly preparing to hibernate there.

      Rated Up+++



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