A Guide to Growing Boston Fern Indoors

Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is a type of evergreen fern native to tropical and subtropical regions. This popular houseplant grows as an upright, arching clump that can reach up to 1 metre in height and width.

Its long, graceful fronds are made up of deep green leaflets that have a leathery texture and range from 2.5-7.5 cm in length. The distinctive foliage of the Boston fern makes it an attractive addition to any home or garden setting.

Its soft fronds also add a touch of nature indoors, making it a great choice for those who love plants but don’t have outdoor space for growing them. In addition to its eye-catching appearance, the Boston fern is also known for its air purifying abilities.

Boston Fern at a glance

Common Name Boston Fern
Scientific Name Nephrolepis Exaltata
Growth Rate Average
Full maturity 2-3 years
Height (max) 60–90 cm
Width (max) 60–90 cm
Pet safe? Yes
Sunlight Medium, indirect
Soil Ph 4.0–6.0 (moderately acidic)
Native to Tropical regions


How to grow Boston Fern

Growing Boston Fern indoors in Australia

Growing indoors in Australia is an increasingly popular activity among gardeners and plant-lovers. From low-maintenance succulents to lush ferns, plants add colour and life to any space.

One of the most beautiful houseplants available is the Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata). This stunning tropical fern not only looks great, but it’s easy to care for too.

Native to Australia’s eastern coastline, the Boston Fern is a hardy species that enjoys humid conditions and moist soil. It has bright green fronds with a graceful arching habit that work beautifully as vertical accents in indoor gardens or as part of hanging basket displays. To ensure your Boston Fern thrives indoors you should keep it away from direct sunlight and mist regularly with warm water – this will help create the humid environment it loves so much!.

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Plant care

Quick care tips

Boston Ferns, or Nephrolepis Exaltata, are a popular houseplant that is known for its luscious foliage. With their graceful fronds and lush greenery, these plants add a touch of elegance to any room.

Caring for Boston Ferns does not require much effort; with just a few simple steps, you can keep your plant looking healthy and vibrant. Here are some quick care tips that will help ensure your Boston Fern remains happy and healthy: First of all, it’s important to water your plant regularly during the growing season.

Watering should be done once or twice a week – enough so that the soil remains damp but not soggy. Additionally, make sure to mist the leaves often as this will increase humidity around the fronds and give them an extra boost of hydration.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) (Source)

Caring for your Boston Fern

Plant care is an essential part of maintaining healthy and vibrant plants. Growing Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata) is a great way to add texture, colour, and life to your home.

It’s a stunning plant that can thrive in many different conditions when it is properly taken care of. Here’s a guide on how to grow and maintain Boston ferns for the best results.

Boston ferns prefer indirect light, but will tolerate some early morning sun as well. When giving these plants bright light, make sure they are not in direct sunlight or else they may get burned by the intense heat. Watering these plants should be done frequently so that the soil remains moist without becoming soggy or damp; this encourages healthy growth and keeps them looking their best!.

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Australian indoor plants guide


Light is an essential factor in the growth of any plant, and Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata) are no different. Native to tropical environments, these plants require a great deal of light in order to thrive.

While direct sunlight should be avoided, a moderate amount of indirect light that is bright enough to read by is ideal for the Boston Fern. Additionally, these ferns prefer higher humidity levels than most other houseplants.

To ensure optimal lighting conditions, it is important to place them near east or west-facing windows where they will receive at least 4 hours of sunlight each day. When growing Boston Ferns indoors, it’s best to choose a location with plenty of natural light and good air circulation. This will help reduce fungal diseases and pests from settling in the soil or on the foliage.

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Watering your Boston Fern


Water is an essential part of life, and it’s no different for the Boston Fern. These unique plants, also known as Nephrolepis Exaltata, require a bit more attention when it comes to hydration than other species.

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It’s important to keep in mind that these ferns are native to tropical regions and may need more water than some other houseplants. When watering your fern, be sure to use filtered or distilled water if possible.

Tap water contains minerals which can build up in the soil over time and may cause root burn or even damage the roots of your plant. It’s best not to let your Boston Fern dry out too much; instead, check on them every few days by poking their soil with your finger or a wooden skewer for moisture levels.

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Fertiliser for Boston Fern


Fertiliser is an essential nutrient for plants, and Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are no exception. This lush, graceful evergreen fern has been a popular houseplant since Victorian times.

To ensure that your Boston fern grows healthy and vibrant, you must fertilise it regularly. Feeding your plant with the right fertiliser can help to create lusher foliage, more robust growth and even encourage air-purifying properties.

When selecting a fertiliser for your Boston Fern, look for one that is specially formulated for use on foliage or houseplants. Generally speaking, liquid varieties tend to be best as they are easier to absorb into the soil than granules or tablets.

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Boston Fern Light


Temperature is one of the most important factors in cultivating Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata). With ideal temperatures, these beautiful plants can thrive and add a splash of green to any home or landscape.

Growing Boston ferns requires warm temperatures between 18-27 degrees Celcius. To keep them happy and healthy, they should also be kept away from drafts, direct sunlight, and air conditioning vents.

When it comes to humidity levels, Boston ferns prefer high humidity—at least 50% relative humidity—so consider adding a humidifier for best results. If temperatures fall below 60 degrees during winter months, move your Boston Fern indoors to protect it from freezing conditions outdoors. As long as you provide your plant with the correct temperature range, you’ll have success growing this lovely plant!.

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Garden boot


Humidity is an important factor in growing Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata). This tropical species of fern is native to humid areas, so it’s necessary to create a similar environment if grown indoors.

The relative humidity level should be kept between 40-60%. This can be achieved by placing the plant in areas like bathrooms or kitchens, misting with water regularly, and setting up an automatic irrigation system.

It’s also recommended to keep the temperature above 65°F and below 80°F. Providing adequate humidity for your Boston fern is essential for optimal growth. Without enough moisture, the leaves will become dry and brittle, leading to wilting and yellowing. To prevent this from happening you should place your plant near windows where it can get indirect sunlight but still have access to moist air from outside.

Learn more about how humidity can affect indoor plants.

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Flowering is not something that most people think of when they look at a Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata). But although these lacy, leafy plants won’t produce flowers in the traditional sense, they do have a unique way of flowering.

To understand how this works, it is important to know a bit about the anatomy of this iconic houseplant. The fronds of the Boston fern are long and thin with hundreds of tiny leaflets growing along their length.

These leaflets contain sporangia which contain spores responsible for reproduction. In certain environmental conditions, the sporangia swell up and release spores into the air. This process is known as ‘flowering’ and when viewed up close can be quite beautiful – often resulting in an almost snow-like effect.

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Pests and Nephrolepis Exaltata


Pests are one of the most common problems when growing Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata). The fern is a beautiful and popular houseplant, but it can be vulnerable to bugs like aphids, mealybugs, mites and scale.

It’s important to identify which type of pest you have in order to effectively treat the infestation. Keeping your fern healthy will help ward off pests naturally.

Here’s what you need to know about preventing and controlling pests on your Boston Fern. Boston Ferns are frequently attacked by various types of insects such as aphids, mealybugs, mites and scale. When these pests feed on the leaves of your fern they can cause yellowing or brown spots that eventually lead to leaf drop.

Find out more about common indoor plant pests in Australia.

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Diseases can be devastating to plants, especially when they come in the form of pests. One type of plant that is particularly susceptible to diseases is the Boston fern, also known as Nephrolepis exaltata.

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This hardy fern grows best in shady areas and moist soil, but can also thrive indoors as a houseplant. While it is generally easy to maintain and care for, it can succumb to several common diseases if not given the right conditions.

The most common disease that affects Boston ferns is rot caused by overwatering or poor drainage. If too much water accumulates in the soil, the roots may become damaged or begin to rot away leading to yellow leaves and eventual death of the plant if left unchecked.


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Soil is one of the most important elements to consider when growing any type of plant, including the Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata). With proper soil composition and regular maintenance, these ferns can thrive indoors or outdoors.

The ideal soil for Boston Ferns should be nutrient-rich and well-draining, but not too dry. This type of soil should also contain some organic matter such as compost or manure to help promote healthy root development.

It’s best to use a light potting mix specifically formulated for ferns, as this will provide an optimal environment for growth. When planting outdoors, make sure to add extra nutrients in the form of fertiliser and mulch if needed. When it comes time to water your ferns, make sure that you don’t overwater them.

Learn how to lower your soil PH.

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Pot Size

Pot size

When it comes to growing a beautiful Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata), pot size is one of the most important considerations for successful growth. This plant prefers an environment with adequate space and drainage, and that means selecting the right pot size is key.

The larger the pot, the more soil surrounding your fern; this will provide extra moisture, nutrients and root space which can help your fern thrive. To get started on choosing a pot size for your Boston Fern, select one with a diameter 5-8 cm bigger than its current container.

This allows plenty of room for growth without overfilling the pot or causing damage to roots. Make sure the new home has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom so that water doesn’t pool in the soil which can lead to root rot and other issues.


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Pruning the Cast Iron Plant

Pruning your Boston Fern

Pruning is an important aspect of caring for a Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata). Not only does pruning help to keep the fern looking healthy and attractive, but it also encourages new growth.

As Boston ferns can easily become overgrown, regular pruning will ensure that it remains in its best condition. The process of pruning a Boston fern is relatively straightforward and requires minimal effort.

To begin with, you’ll need sharp scissors or garden shears so that you can properly shape the leaves and stems. Begin by removing any yellowing leaves or dead fronds to make way for new growth. Once finished, use your scissors to trim off any excess strands as needed. This will help maintain the size and shape of your plant while encouraging new growth simultaneously.


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Propagating your Boston Fern

Propagation of Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) is a great way to keep your greenery growing without having to purchase additional plants. This species of fern is both easy to maintain and propagate, making it an ideal choice for a beginner gardener.

Whether you are looking to expand your own garden or give the gift of green, this article will provide all the information you need on how to propagate Boston Ferns successfully. Though Boston Ferns do produce spores, they do not produce them in large quantities and so propagation through division is the easiest and most reliable method.

When propagating by division, you will want to take cuttings from healthy sections of the plant that contain roots, stem and foliage.


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Garden fence

Is Boston Fern poisonous?

Boston ferns are a popular houseplant and can be commonly seen growing indoors in their distinctive cascading foliage. But what many people don’t realize is that this plant has the potential to be poisonous if not handled properly.

Nephrolepis exaltata, or Boston fern, can cause irritation and vomiting when consumed by people or animals. It is also known to contain an enzyme that can irritate skin if it comes into contact with it.

It is important to take proper precautions when growing a Boston fern inside your home as these plants are capable of emitting toxins into the air.

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