When it comes to indoor houseplants, there is no shortage of different types that you can choose from. One popular option is the Boston Fern, which is known for its long, cascading leaves and ease of care. This terrific plant is a great addition to any home or office space and it can thrive in a variety of different climates. Today we’ll look at how easy it is to start growing boston ferns.
Boston Ferns are a type of fern that is found all over the world. These plants are characterized by their long, cascading leaves, which can reach up to 3 feet in length. Boston Ferns make a great addition to any home or office space as they are incredibly low-maintenance and provide a lush, green look. They grow great in standard containers, as well as hanging baskets.
- Also known as the ladder fern, boss fern, or sword fern.
- Can grow up to 3 feet both indoors and out.
- Have been known to last for decades when properly cared for
- Excellent, low maintenance indoor house plant
- Can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates
- Goes great in hanging baskets as well as traditional containers
Soil and Container
Boston Ferns grow best in well-draining soil that is rich in humus. The soil should not be too dense as it may cause the roots to rot and make the plant susceptible to pests like mites. It is generally good practice to purchase potting soil for Boston Ferns from your local nursery, but you can also easily make your own with peat moss, perlite or vermiculite and some composted bark or coir. Most commercial potting mixes will work fine with boston ferns.
When choosing a container, most options will work. Choose one that is slightly larger than the root ball of your plant, or about 6”+ if starting from seeds. Whatever container you choose, make sure it has proper drainage as boston ferns do very poorly when waterlogged.
Boston ferns also make excellent hanging plants as their long leaves will spill over a hanging container. This makes them great choices for any hanging baskets along a balcony or suspended indoors.
Growing From Seeds
Boston Ferns can also be grown from seeds. To do this, you’ll need a pot filled with moist soil and then sow the seeds on the surface of the soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist, but not too wet, and place the pot in a bright location. It will typically take a few weeks for the seeds to sprout and begin growing. During this time you should follow the instructions on your seed packet. This is overall slower than starting with a seedling, but not particularly difficult as Boston fern seeds tend to take fairly well.
Boston Ferns prefer indirect light but can also tolerate low light levels. If you are growing your Fern indoors, place it near a window where it will receive indirect sunlight. If you are growing your Fern outdoors, choose a shaded spot that gets sunlight for a few hours per day.
You want to avoid direct sunlight as this can burn out the leaves of your fern. You should also look to avoid too much shade as this can lead to slow and leggy growth.
When it comes to watering your Boston Ferns, they should only be watered when the soil is beginning to dry out. The plant should never sit in water after you have watered it and, if possible, do not water from above as this may cause fungal growth.
Overall, err on the side of less water as overwatering is one of the biggest issues gardeners will face. Wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry before adding more water, and look to water the soil instead of the plant itself.
It is also generally recommended that you adjust or reduce the amount of water you give your plants during the winter months since their growing season has ended. Boston ferns tend to go dormant in the winter, so naturally need less water and nutrients. During this time, you can continue to mist them to keep them hydrated and keep humidity levels up.
Boston Ferns should be fertilized regularly during the spring and summer months to encourage healthy growth. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, or alternatively you can feed your plants every 2-4 weeks with a slow-release fertilizer. Be careful not to over-fertilize as this can damage the roots. If you notice that the fronds of your Boston Fern are beginning to yellow, this is usually a sign that they are getting too much direct sunlight or that they are being over-fertilized.
During the winter you can stop fertilizing as the plant is dormant and not actively growing. Resume your schedule in the spring.