Nephrolepis Exaltata (Boston Fern)

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If you’re looking for a classic hanging basket fern with elegant arched fronds, take a closer look at Nephrolepis Exaltata, the Boston Fern.

In North America, wild examples of this graceful fern grow from the clefts in trees. This natural affinity with a raised position could be one of the reasons why the Boston Fern is often featured in Victorian period dramas, displayed in a hanging basket or a large planter.

Nephrolepis Exaltata will thrive in a modern home with a little TLC.

Water / Feed

Try to ensure that this fern’s compost is kept moist during the spring and summer. Luke-warm water is recommended. An occasional feed of liquid fertiliser will keep the fronds green and lush through the growing season.

Pet / Child

This is a fern which is perfectly safe for children, dogs, cats and other pets.

Temperature / Humidity

Indoors, this forest fern will depend on you for its natural humidity. Warm water misting is recommended. Winter room temperatures below 10°C (50°F) may cause leaf damage.

Soil Type

After a few years, Adiantum may need repotting in a good quality compost. Many gardeners recommend improving soil drainage by placing broken pottery or slates in the base of the pot.

Light / Position

The Boston Fern will tolerate a wide variation in light levels; from bright, indirect sunlight, to moderate shade. Position the pot, hanging basket or planter away from drafts.

Health Benefits

A good oxygenator, Nephrolepis Exaltata is also listed as an air purifying houseplant in NASA’s 1989 Clean Air Study.

Growth / Spread

This is a small, slow-growing fern that can eventually become about 50cm (19in) tall.

Geographic Origins

This compact fern is native to Brazil and Venezuela.