Did you know… Ferns are amongst the oldest plants in the world? Archeologists have found fossils that are about 360 million years old! On this page you’ll find all information on Ferns care, from the ideal spot until repotting instructions. Follow these Ferns care guidelines and help yours live a long and healthy life.
Ferns have been a popular indoor plant for centuries. During the Victorian era in Great Britain, people actually had quite an obsession with them. This was due to the fact that plants were not cultivated at the time but were taken directly from nature. Ferns were not only a graceful addition to the interior, but easy to find as well. The cold and wet British climate provides Ferns with ideal circumstances for growth.
Today ferns are still regarded as the ultimate green garden or houseplant. The bright green, often feather-shaped leaves give any interior a natural look. In addition, they are effective air-purifying plants. There are about 2000 varieties that are suitable as indoor plants. Although a relatively small part of these varieties are for sale, there are still plenty to choose from. A popular classic is the Nephrolepsis exaltata, known for its many feather-shaped leaves and rapid growth (highly recommended for “Between two Ferns”-viewers). A lesser known species is the Staghorn Fern, which looks completely different. As you probably suspected, the leaves of this plant resemble a stag horn. There are many different types of ferns, with different shades of green and (leaf) shapes.
Ferns are quite easy to care for, which has certainly contributed to the Victorian and current fern obsession. Once you have placed or hung the plant in a proper spot, all you really need to do is maintain a moist potting soil and high humidity. Read on for all Ferns care tips.
Ferns light requirements
Ferns need more light than most people think. They should be placed in a light spot (clear of direct sunlight) or a spot in partial shade. If the leaves start turning yellow, that’s a sign that your fern is in a spot that’s too light. It’s then advisable to move it further away from the window.
Make sure never to place the plant near a heater. The humidity here is too low and the air is too warm, making it a hostile environment for ferns. Placing it near a heater can cause the leaves too turn yellow or brown.
Ferns care: water
Make sure the potting soil is always a bit moist, by regularly giving the fern small amounts of water. Never give a large amount of water in one go, and make sure there’s never a layer of excess water at the bottom of the pot. The plant needs more water during spring and summer, as compared to autumn and winter.
Regularly mist the plant using a plant sprayer, especially during winter. This has to do with the fact that the heating significantly lowers the humidity. To maintain a high humidity level, it’s best to mist the plant regularly. Regular misting will also improve your fern’s look, as it prevents dust formation on the leaves. When the humidity is too low, the leaves will start turning yellow and/or the tips of the leaves will turn brown. A low humidity will also cause the plant to stop producing new leaves. These are all signs that you should mist your fern more often.
Don’t repot Ferns until they appear to be growing out of the pot, and only repot it during early spring. Young ferns will probably need to be repotted annually, but older ferns can wait another year or two. The ideal month for repotting Ferns is March. We recommend placing a layer of hydro granules at the bottom of the pot when repotting. That way, it won’t matter if you overwater the plant, as the hydro granules provide drainage.
Ferns care: Fertilizer requirements
Once you receive the plant, it will not need any fertilizer for the next 2 months. This is because the plant can still obtain sufficient nutrition from the fresh potting soil. When the two months have passed, you will only need to apply fertilizer during spring and summer.
For the specific amount of plant food, have a look at the instructions on the packaging and never use more than recommended. This can cause damage to the roots. The plant doesn’t need any fertilizer during fall and winter.
Is the Fern a poisonous plant?
All outdoor and indoor plants on Plantler have a decorative purpose; they’re not fit for consumption – unless it is explicitly stated that they are (i.e. a fruit tree). Some fern species are poisonous. Make sure to place these out of reach from small children and pets.