The Big and Beautiful All-American Houseplant
Nephrolepis exaltata, more commonly known as the Boston Fern an easy to care for houseplant. With sword-shaped leaves and blue-green foliage, the Sword Fern is a choice for many house plant enthusiasts. It grows slowly, and it’s best suited for year-round growth indoors.
Native to North America, the Boston Fern is a standard houseplant choice as it is easy to grow and does not demand a lot of attention. This plant best thrives in humid conditions with partial shade gardens. California and Florida are two of the best locations for the Boston Fern.
Caring for y0ur Boston Fern
If you live in a warm place that is humid, then the Boston Fern is the best choice for you. This plant does not require you to go the extra mile when caring for it. However, it is important for you to provide a stable growing condition so that the plant grows to its full potential.
The Boston Fern needs indirect but bright light to grow. You need to be very specific with the lighting. Too little or too much light can damage your plant. Having said that, the Boston Fern is considered to be the best option for porch plants as they can get the optimal amount of light there. In the mornings, the plant can get the filtered sunlight it needs, and in the afternoon, you can get the shade it needs.
It is important for the best growth of your Fern to receive organically rich soil. The soil should be loamy and have good drainage. If you are growing it outdoors, take our advice and add peat and compost to the soil. On the other hand, if you are growing it indoors, you can use a peat-based mix that comes with perlite so you can increase its drainage capacity.
If the soil does not drain well, it causes the roots to rot and severely damage the plant.
The soil should be lightly moist for optimal growth. However, make sure that you do not confuse between moist and soggy. Water your Fern weekly if it is indoors, and if you have kept the plant outdoors, then you must water it more frequently.
The Fern should not dry out completely as that can cause its foliage to drop out. In the winter months, you can take longer gaps in watering, but be careful so that you don’t completely dry the plant out.
Even though it does not have high soil requirements, your Boston Fern needs good soil conditions. If the Fern is outdoors, you can add about 1 inch of compost to make sure that it grows best.
Other than that, if the Fern is indoors, you can add liquid fertilizer once every month. But this is only for the spring and summer months. According to our experience, you don’t have to add any fertilizer in the winter and fall.
The issues you face when you grow a fern depend on where you typically keep the Fern. There are certain pests and other diseases that can affect the growth and life of your plant, so it is important for you to vary these issues.
There are different pests that can affect the Boston Fern, such as snails, slugs, and other chewing insects. Other insects include whiteflies, mealybugs, and caterpillars. If you find sticky mold on the inner side of the leaf, then it is very likely for your plants to have a whiteflies infestation. These insects suck all the juices from the plant. Infestation of mealy bugs also looks like this.
Different pests require different treatments. For instance, to treat mealybugs, you can use isopropyl alcohols diluted solution.
Diseases for the Boston Fern include root rot. This will cause your Fern to have brown roots and grey fronds. If this happens, the best way to treat it is to report the plant.
Take our advice and go for a drastic pruning for your Nephrolepis Exaltata. This will help improve the growth of Boston Fern and give it bushiness. Repot your Boston Fern when you want to prune it, as that will stimulate better growth. It is best to trim the edges rather than cropping the complete plant.
You can propagate the Fern with division. Plant the divisions into the mix and cover the roots completely with the soil.
Potting / Repotting
Spring is the best time to repot your plants. Make sure that you use containers that do not dry out quickly. Replant the plant at about the same depth and cover all the roots.