Botanical Title: Nephrolepsis exaltata
Boston ferns are the most well-liked of the fern species that originated in Central America and have become a quick favourite in parlors and porches in North America through the Victorian period.
Lengthy, arching fronds densely coated with leaflets — known as pinnae — makes this lush, sleek home plant supreme for a pedestal or a dangling basket.
Shopping for Boston Ferns
Backyard facilities show hanging baskets of ferns in spring and summer season. Chances are you’ll discover ferns on the market at on-line flower retailers, too. Search for a fern with new fronds unfurling from the middle — a certain signal of a wholesome plant.
Immediately, there are a number of new cultivars which can be getting consideration, together with ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ with curly fronds and a dwarf selection ‘Timii’ that makes a chic desk accent.
Caring for Boston Fern Indoors
Caring for Boston ferns is simple, so long as you meet their want for top humidity. Ferns are native to tropical rainforests, the place the relative humidity stays nicely above 70%. Wanting turning your property right into a misty rainforest, there are some things you possibly can do to boost the humidity in your plant.
Brown leaflets — or pinnae — are sometimes attributable to dry air. Keep away from putting your fern close to a warmth or AC vent as a result of fluctuations in temperature can shock the plant and in addition trigger browning of leaflets. Some browning of frond ideas is regular. You possibly can trim brown leaflets with scissors, if you would like, to maintain it trying neat. Older, decrease fronds will naturally flip brown once they die and needs to be minimize off.
Fronds which can be yellow and wilted are an indication of overwatering. Cut back quantity of water and trim off broken fronds. Use a container with drainage holes to stop soggy soil. Verify the plant’s roots to see if they’ve rotted. If the roots are largely black, do away with it — it is too far gone.
Repot in spring, when the roots have stuffed the container. Transfer the fern to a pot that is solely barely bigger. Wish to management its measurement? Take away the fern from its container and prune off about 1/4 of its roots. Then repot it in the identical pot it was in earlier than. This can be a good time to divide the fern, if you would like.
Are Boston ferns toxic to cats and canines? No. In response to the ASPCA, this widespread fern is non-toxic to pets.
A pair pests hassle this fern. Look ahead to scale, that seem like small, brown discs on leaflets. (Typically the brown spores on the undersides of leaflets are mistaken for scale bugs. You may acknowledge the spores as a result of they seem in two rows underneath every pinnae.) To take away scale bugs, scrape them off along with your fingernails. Do not use pesticides on ferns as a result of they’re simply broken by chemical compounds.
Spider mites are much less widespread, however could cause extra harm. Effective webbing between fronds are a certain signal of this harmful pest. Lower off badly affected fronds. Do not use an insecticide, which may harm fronds. If it is heat sufficient, you possibly can take your fern outdoor to scrub it off with tepid water to dislodge these mites. In any other case, place your fern within the bathe.
Misting your fern repeatedly will forestall an invasion of spider mites that desire drier circumstances. And your fern will love the humidity.
Boston Fern Care Ideas
Origin: Central America
Peak: Fronds are usually 1-3 ft (30-90 cm) lengthy.
Gentle: Vivid, oblique mild. No direct solar. Give the plant 1 / 4 flip each week or so to show all sides to mild.
Water: Preserve soil always moist, however not soggy. Watch massive ferns and hanging basket ferns as a result of they’ll dry out rapidly. Wilted or drooping fronds are attributable to both under- or over-watering. All the time use room-temperature water in your houseplants; Chilly water is a shock to those tender tropicals.
Humidity: Attempt to preserve moist air (round 50% relative humidity) close to the fern. Use a cool-mist room humidifier for finest outcomes. Misting with room-temperature water helps, in case you can mist just a few instances a day.
Temperature: Regular room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C
Soil: Peat moss-based potting combine, resembling African violet potting combine. Or half-half combination of peat moss and all-purpose potting combine.
Fertilizer: Feed each 2 weeks year-round with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Division. You possibly can minimize away new crops that develop exterior the primary root ball and pot them individually. Or divide a big root ball into smaller clumps with a pointy knife and pot them up. Spring is the very best time to propagate Boston Fern as a result of it’s starting its most vigorous time of progress.