Monday, November 2, 2009

All about Ferns

Boston Fern   Nephrolepis exaltata 'bostoniensis'
I love ferns! The first two pictures are of my own ferns. The bottom photo is a fern that grows well outdoors in many areas that don't stay below freezing for very long. It also works well as an indoor plant.

Lovely, graceful ferns have lived on the earth since dinosaur days!  An interesting fact about these gentle plants is how they propagate.  Most plants bloom and reproduce through seeds.  Ferns have no flowers and they reproduce through spores that appear on the undersides of their fronds in a symmetrical pattern.  They generally can be found living on the floor of woodsy area.

Button Fern  Pellaea rotundifolia
Ferns are not usually recommended for beginning plant growers unless one is quite vigilant.  They need a fair amount of attention. Some of the easiest ferns to grow are the ferns featured in these pictures. The birdnest fern, rabbits foot fern and pteris ferns are others that are fairly easy to keep indoors. The delicate appearing maidenhair is among the most difficult of houseplants to keep.


Holly Fern  'Cyrtomium falcatum'

Care Instructions--
  • Bright indirect light or some morning sun is perfect. Sitting in a north-facing window is ideal. 
  • Ferns must stay on the moist side so give them some water as soon as the top is dry. A plant in a 6" (15cm) pot should take about 1 pint (almost 1/2 liter) of water when necessary. 
  • Provide humidity for them. A daily misting is recommended. You can also put pebbles in their saucer and keep water in the saucer up to the bottom of the pot. The pot should not be sitting in water. (Maidenhair ferns need the most humidity but do not like a heavy misting!!) 
  • Ferns prefer cooler temperatures
  • Fertilize regularly
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**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:The Indoor Garden TV show