The Lemon Button Fern, or Nephrolepis is one of the most refreshing small ferns one can grow. Once you find it a place in your home or office, and you establish its care cycle, it's pretty much care-free!


This is a small fern that grows to about a foot high and not much more across. It boasts tiny arching stems with round leaves that ahve very small serrated edges that alternate up the stem.

When handled, there's a lemon scent, which - in addition to its yellowish gold color - gives the fern its name.

The Nephrolepis is the smallest of the Boston ferns and good for the beginning Indoor Gardener. The plant usually starts off in a small pot of no more than 4 inches, and never progresses much out of a 6- to 8-inch container.


Eventually, you might need to pot up to a 10-inch, but that's for an older plant.

The Lemon Button Fern does well in terrariums, also.

Be careful not to confuse this little guy with the Button Fern. Pallaea rotundifolia  has glossier leaves and requires very different care. From a distance, it's easy to make the mistake. Care for the Lemon Button Fern is similar to that for any of the Boston Ferns, but as with any plant, pay attention to its particular needs in your location. Also keep an eye on the base of the fronds. If they turn brown, you're either under or over watering.



The Lemon Button Fern likes low light, filtered shade. Definitely no direct afternoon sun for this little guy! Always ensure the soil is moist.

Don't let it dry out and maker sure it doesn't get soggy either.


This fern thrives in soil that is a mix of peat moss and potting soil. Make sure it is planted in a well draining area or pot. Always remove excess water from your container's saucer.


If you would like to fertilize the Lemon Button Fern do so during spring/early fall. Choose a liquid fertilizer at half strength using once every 3-4 weeks during this time. Always remember to follow the directions on the fertilizer of your choice.

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