A Pteris fern just naturally grows with a graceful bent to its fronds. They really do look so relaxed. As they mature, their fronds can grow as long as 1-1 1/2 ft. ( 30-40 cm). I recently saw this one, the Pteris cretica, at a great florist in McLean, VA.
There are several species of Pteris fern, also known as 'table ferns' available on the market today. They've been used as a houseplant and occasionally hybridized since the early 1900's. They are one of the most tolerant ferns to keep indoors and recover well from some neglect. A Pteris fern would be a very good choice for someone who is interested in ferns but doesn't have much experience with them.
- 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 4" (10cm) diameter pot should require about 1/2-3/4 cup of water. Test to see how much your's needs by observing how much water comes out of the bottom of the pot. A little bit should, to show that it was thoroughly soaked.
- A plant in a 6" (15cm) diameter 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 so that the bottom of the pot sits just above water, not in it. The evaporating water does provide some humidity. The Pteris ferns are tolerant of less humidity than some other ferns.
- Normal indoor temperatures should suit them just fine.
- Fertilize regularly for best growth