The Boston Fern, also know as Nephrolepis exaltata, is a variety of sword fern. It has long, arching bright green fronds, and is widely cultivated especially as a hanging houseplant.

As the Boston Fern is the most popular of all ferns grown indoor and has been found to be one of the easiest to care

for and maintain!

If care is followed the Boston Fern can be easily grown indoors

or outdoors.


The Boston fern light requirements vary depending on the season. In the fall and winter, they benefit from indirect bright lighting.

They can receive this lighting  in a windowsill or on a patio.

The spring and summer light begins to be problematic for this fern as they cannot tolerate direct sunlight for long. The preferred to be placed in a location where they can avoid it, quite honestly. Indoors it is safe to say northern-facing windows which get indirect lighting are good. Outdoors they enjoy shaded areas under trees. If your home can provide them shelter from direct sunlight this is a great idea as well. This doesn't mean no light is required, all plants require light. With the Boston Fern, a minimum of two hours of bright, indirect lighting is all that is required.


As we know, ferns often live in tropical environments. This means they do appreciate a slightly-richer soil blend, having said that they

don’t necessarily need one. Providing good drainage is key. Using a blend of peat moss, sand, and good potting soil is perfectly acceptable with the Boston Fern. Ferns love soil that is rich in plant matter so if you have compost at hand feel free to blend a little

of that into your soil mix.


Watering this fern really depends on its location and environment. If your Boston fern lives indoors, you should water their pot once the top inch or so of soil is dry. Water at soil level to keep the fronds dry. If they seem to want more humidity, you can place a tray with rocks and some water in it beneath the pot. This will keep your ferns lush and happy.


If your Boston fern is in a hanging pot, give it a light misting with a mister bottle occasionally.

If your Boston Fern lives outdoors you will want to water it when the top inch of soil is dry. In warmer months this is more difficult to do, and they may want more humidity than that offers.Mulching around the base of your plants to help keep the soil a bit moist and provide humidity is an excellent idea if this situation arises. This fern doesn't love dry soil...but also hates soggy soil!

Just like other ferns remember their tropical roots...literally! Always use lukewarm water to prevent any shock to their root system.


The best fertilizer for Boston ferns (and honestly ferns in general) is believed to be a liquid formula. If you choose a commercial houseplant fertilizer ensure it is diluted to half its normal strength. Boston Fern fertilizer should be applied at the base of the plant so as to not scorch the fern’s fronds. Always follow the directions on the fertilizer of your choice.