Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to care for a Boston Fern (Summertime)

I've had this Boston fern for many, many years. I can not even recall how I got this one!  

These gentle, graceful ferns are a soothing and calming influence indoors. This one usually lives in a bedroom near a north-facing window but I decided to put it outside in the shade for the summer. Many houseplants benefit from the higher humidity and air circulation that the outdoors provides. With the right care, they should stay healthy and beautiful for the rest of the year indoors.  

Botanically known as a Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis, it was found in Boston in 1894 and is still a favorite of indoor plant enthusiasts. Its fronds can get as long as 3 feet or 1m!  It's fairly easy to grow, if you are devoted. Its soil needs to stay on the moist side and it occasionally needs some grooming as it sheds older fronds.  

The sword fern, Nephrolepis exaltata is closely related and its fronds grow more upright. It has the same care. There are many Nephrolepis hybrids available and are generally as easy to care for, if you are devoted!

Care Instructions--
  • Prefers bright indirect light. Near or in a north-facing window is ideal. It can take a little direct sun but a lot of afternoon sun will bleach it's color. 
  • Water it thoroughly as soon as the soil is dry on the surface. A plant in a 10" diameter pot (about 25cm) should take about one quart or about a liter of water when necessary, for a thorough soak. 
  • It prefers temperatures on the cooler side indoors. 
  • It appreciates some humidity either by daily misting or some other method if your   home tends or be on the dry side. 
  • Fertilize regularly


***To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below:
  The Indoor Garden TV


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