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Boston fern

Boston fern

Nephrolepis exaltata

Quick care guide

  • lighting icon

    Lighting

    Indirect light only.

  • watering icon

    Watering

    Keep soil moist.

  • humidity icon

    Humidity

    High humidity.

  • feeding icon

    Feeding

    Feed during spring and summer.

  • temperature icon

    Temperature

    13C-24C

  • pest icon

    Pests

    spider mites and mealy bugs

About the Boston fern

The Boston fern is an ideal plant for your bathroom as it will thrive on the humidity and condensation usually found there. The long fronds on the fern will flow beautifully in a hanging basket or it will sit perfectly on a table where its leaves can hang gracefully over the edge. It’s also an easy plant to care for.

Some ferns can grow really large and can live a long time – I’ve seen a photo of one that is 54 years old!

Caring for your Boston fern

  • lighting icon

    lighting

    The fronds on the Boston fern are quite delicate and so leaving it in direct sunlight is likely to damage the leaves. Best to place it where it can receive indirect sunlight.

  • watering icon

    watering

    If you overwater the Boston fern you're going to end up with a dead plant. Don't confuse humidity with watering - keep the air humid around it but don't let the plant sit in water or the soil become soggy. Check it regularly and try not to let the soil dry out – it's best to keep it moist.

  • watering icon

    humidity

    The Boston fern requires a lot of humidity which is why it's a good choice for the bathroom. You might also want to mist it from time to time and especially so during the winter when your central heating will be on and the air likely to be drier.

  • watering icon

    feeding

    You can feed your plant with plant fertiliser once a month or even less frequently during spring and summer.

  • watering icon

    temperature

    The plant will do better in cooler conditions. Normal room temperature is fine but make sure that you don't place it next to a radiator. If it is near a radiator, make sure to mist the plant more often as the air will be drier due to the heater.

  • watering icon

    pests

    Check your plant regularly for spider mites and mealy bugs as they can attack ferns.

First aid for your Boston fern

Common problems

The Boston fern's leaves have turned yellow.

This can mean that the plant isn't getting enough humidity. Try misting the plant regularly or standing it on some pebbles in a saucer of water so that the roots don't sit in the water but the humidity is increased.

Need some more help?

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