How To Take Care Of A Fern Houseplant (Indoor And Outside)

Ferns are one of the plants that are not hard to grow. It is not as difficult as growing orchids. It is essential to know how to take care of them if they are inside and how to take care of them if they are outside.

Ferns are among the oldest plants that have been in existence for more than 300 million years. The plant can grow in different environments can survive different temperatures. There are about 12000 different species of ferns that range from cold hardy to tropical and randing in size from miniature to the monstrous tree ferns of New Zealand and Australia.  If you are interested in growing ferns as a house plant; house the following guidelines to keep the, thriving.

While some ferns can thrive well indoors, many others cannot strive indoors and require their forestry environment to grow. Once you can identify the type of fern you are growing inside or outside your house, it will be easy for you to know ways on how to take care of it.

Indoor ferns Out door ferns
Boston ferns Osmunda Ferns
Staghorn Fern Cinnamon Fern
Kangaroo Paw Fern Interrupted Fern
Crocodile Fern Maidenhair Ferns
Northern Maidenhair Fern

How to keep fern houseplants thriving indoors

Know the humidity of your environment

Even though ferns can survive in many temperatures, houseplant ferns cannot tolerate dry conditions for so long. Once en environment is dry, the leaves will turn brown or yellow and will begin to wilt off. During the summer, mist the ferns often,( at least every morning). Train family members on how to use a spray bottle whenever they pass by the ferns inside the house and let them keep it as a habit. Keep the fern pot on a tray of pebbles, pea gravel or clay granules and always ensure it is kept wet. A wet tray keeps the environment around the plant humid and prevents the roots of the fern from being soggy.

In the wintertimes, the ferns are not in the growing season; hence you can be less vigilant about watering them. Therefore allow the soil to dry thoroughly before watering again. As soon as you notice new fronds appearing, then start watering the ferns to make the soil dump.

Fern Houseplant

Never let the ferns get dry

Ferns usually grow in rainforests and can survive in the loamy leaf litter that always collects in the crooks of the tree branches. Make sure that your ferns are well hydrated. Always feel the soil and water the ferns whenever the topsoil is dry. Press young index finger into the soil about an inch to see if it is dry or not. The watering requirements are different from fern to fern. Maidenhair and bogs should have soil that is always moist. The Boston ferns do not need so much water. If you are growing Boston ferns and Japanese painted ferns, you do not need to press your finger in the soil. They only need water once the soil surface appears to be wet.

Provide enough light

Even though ferns grow in between trees, they are not deep share plants. Many of the species are adapted to the dappled sunlight. Make sure that your ferns have access to enough light. If you can filter the light to make it dappled it would be great for your ferns. Without enough light, the fronds will turn yellow and eventually fall off. Some ferns cannot withstand the bright sunlight. Hence you must regulate the amount of light the ferns get. Therefore place the ferns in a room with north or east-facing windows is always an excellent choice to keep ferns. If there isn’t any north-facing window, you can place the fern to the south-facing window. Keep the fern far away from the window so that it receives ambient light. You can also provide light (through the gardening bulb) in a room there are no windows


Feed your ferns

Because ferns are wild floor plants, they thrive on a study supply of decaying matter. This means always provide the ferns with a steady supply of weak fertilizers during their growing season. If you can get slow-releasing Pelle fertilizers or any weak liquid fertilizers, you can put t on top of the soil to allow the ferns to grow healthy and green. Ferns can survive for two months without being fed. However, feed the ferns regularly during the warm times of the year. If you cannot get access to weal liquid fertilizers, purchase houseplant food from the local gardening supply store. Always read the instructions on the package before diluting. Dilute the food and make sure it is half as strong as the fern. During the winter, ferns can store more food and do not need to be fed.

Keep the ferns in the dormant state during winter

During the winter, the temperature will drop and puts the plant at risk of dying out. However, you can always keep it inside. If they turn yellow and shed off their leaves, that is okay. Water them once a week and do not fertilize them during the winder.

Keep your ferns away from insects

Ferns occasionally attract bugs and other insects. Even though insects are hazardous, you should be careful not to use anything that will destroy your ferns. Use mild insecticides or other natural insect repellents and observe. Hopefully, this will be the only measure to take care of any the insects.

Trim off any discoloured fronds or any leaflets fronds.

Use sharp, clean scissors or knife to remove any fronds that are aesthetically unpleasant. Cut the front from the base to allow new and healthy fronds to grow. It is advisable to prune ferns during the spring or summer. This is the season that they grow faster.

How To Take Care Of A Fern Houseplant (Indoor And Outside)


Ferns are tolerated to winter temperatures can grow year-round in your garden. Several ferns can withstand both winter cold and the summer heat. This makes them hard to take care of them outside. It is easy to grow ferns outdoors. Ferns make excellent companions for the woodland plants like hosta caladiums. The way you take care of funds would depend on which of the ferns you are growing. There are different outdoor ferns you can always choose from

  • Lady fern: These are drought tolerant. They can survive with limited water
  • Christmas ferns: This fern is always green and takes a long time to grow.
  • Male fern: Grows up to 5 feet. The male fern likes light and wet soil
  • South maidenhair: survives a wide range of conditions like rocky soils and acidic soils

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