Indoor Fern Plant Care

Indoor Fern Plant Care

Indoor Fern Plant Care.  Most Ferns are good plants to use as indoor decorations they are for the most part easy care and do not like freezing temperatures.  You can plant them outdoors in tropical regions or places where it never freezes.  They like humidity and consistent watering, fertilizing and occasional misting is a good thing.

Too much sunlight, not enough water and soil that does not drain well will cause fern leaves to turn brown.

Where to place them

Just about anywhere there is good light and humidity.  The shower room is a good place or any room where there are windows with good light and a humidifier.  In its natural habitat ferns live in the forest where there is filtered light shining through from larger trees.  The soil is typically damp and lots of decaying foliage. It is best to use good well-composted soil when you are re-potting or planting ferns in the ground.  You can place them outdoors for brief periods of good sunshine during the spring and fall months.  Do not let them sit outdoors in full sun during the mid-hot summer sun no matter where you live.

Types of Ferns for indoors

There are numerous types of ferns but for this article, we will be mentioning the most common ones.

Birds Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus ) is a fern that looks like a bird would use it as a nest, thus its name.  It’s also called the “Crows nest fern”. The leaves are wavy and shoot from the middle out about 4-8 inches.  How big will they grow?  Good question…depending on where it is placed anywhere from 2 ft. to about 6 ft. tall maybe 4 ft. wide.

Indoor Fern Plant Care
A nice looking Birds Nest Fern in a decorative pot


Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Also called the sword fern and is one of the easiest to care for ferns.  Most folks purchase this fern because of its looks and ease of care. They can be planted in a container or in hanging baskets.  Restaurants and business locations use Boston ferns to decorate the indoors you can see them hanging from the ceilings, tables or near exits and entrance areas.

Indoor Fern Plant Care
The Boston Fern

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp)The foliage is lighter green in color and has a feathery like appearance.  Like most ferns, it likes moist soil and consistent misting.  It should be placed where there is good sunlight shining through a window or skylight.  Keep it away from drafts or in front of cooling/heating vents.

Indoor Fern Plant Care
Maidenhair Fern in a container

Asparagus Fern aethiopicus – Also called Sprenger’s Asparagus.    A good fern-like plant that you can plant to fill an empty space in your garden.  The foliage is a light green color and resembles small pine needles it does well in and around the southwest.  Matter of fact you can plant it outdoors as it will set seeds and grow the following year.  It’s not really in the fern family but they look a lot like ferns.  Some folks call it a  Foxtail fern because they are in the same cultivar.  It produces red berries and small white flower usually in late summer.  There are many common cultivars below are two.

You can learn more about Asparagus ferns over at Wikipedia.

Asparagus Fern in a pot
Asparagus Fern Densiflorus “Meyersii”
Sprenger’s Asparagus Fern

A hanging Asparagus Fern (densiflorus). 

Fern Plants
A hanging Asparagus Fern (densiflorus).

Problems with Fern Plants

Most fern plants are hardy and will resist diseases and insects.  However, they will on occasion get attacked by Spittlebugs and Mealybugs.  Spraying with Neem oil or an insecticide will remove these insects.  It is best to take outdoors and spray if they are in containers.  Read more about Insects and diseases on plants. 


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