Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

Angus & Celeste Blog
May, 2019
Plant pots or hanging planters? Either! Image features our Raw Earth Hanging Planters in Shale Green.

Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata), also known as Sword Ferns, are currently a hot, must have houseplant. These evergreens can reach as high as 40 to 90 centimetres (and in some cases 1.5 metres!), and are native to tropical regions around the world. They are perfect for indoor and outdoor use, and their distinctive and symmetrical shape makes them a popular choice for interior design.

These guys do need a little TLC to stay happy and healthy, but don’t fear! Learning how to take care of a Boston Fern isn’t difficult. Below, we have listed some information and a few care tips to ensure that your Boston Fern stays as green as a Leprechaun’s jacket.

They grow and grow and grow! Image from Design Sponge.

Environment & Temperature:

Boston Ferns need a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. If caring for your plant indoors, it’s a good idea to give your plant a light misting once or twice a week to provide the humidity they require. Your fern will let you know if the humidity isn’t high enough. Oh yes, these plants love to be sweaty! The Boston Fern leaves will turn yellow if the humidity is not high enough. If your Boston Fern’s fronds are turning yellow, make sure to increase the humidity around the plant.

Fertiliser & Soil:

Ensure that your Boston Fern’s soil remains damp. Dry soil is one of the leading causes of Boston Fern death. So keep that soil moist!  Check the soil on a daily basis and make sure to give it some water if the soil feels dry.

A lesser-known care tip for Boston Ferns is that they don’t require a lot of fertiliser. Fertiliser should only be given to the plant a few times a year.

Don’t let them dry out! Image features our Raw Earth Hanging Planters and Plant Pots in Shale Green, and our Riverstone Plant Pot in White Splash.

Pests: Boston Ferns are susceptible to some pests. In particular, they are susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. If your plant does become infested, make sure to treat the plant as quickly as possible.

See, Boston Fern care is pretty simply. If you make sure that your fern is getting the right care, your plant will live for many years.

Some ferns can display beautiful variegation, lighter leaves or deeper green! Image by Foliage Garden NYC

Angus & Celeste Pot Suggestion:

Boston Ferns are perfect for our all of our hanging planters, our plant stand pot ranges, and for smaller specimens our Riverstone collection is ideal.

Did you know?

Ferns are an extremely old group of plants. They first appeared on Earth in the middle of the Devonian era about 360 million years ago. 360 million years old! Think about that fact the next time you lament your upcoming birthday.

Or that…

The Boston Fern was one of the common indoor plants featured in the NASA Clean Air Study of 1989, which identified plants that not only oxygenate rooms but also remove significant amounts of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.


The Boston Fern’s distinctive arching frond mutation was first discovered as shipments of the ferns were being sent to Boston in 1894. This is where this species gets its name.

Such a tropical jungle vibe! Pictured in our Raw Earth Hanging Planter in Shale Green.