She really really loves humidity. Misther a couple of times a week or let her live in the bathroom, basking happily in steam.
Most light conditions
Like a lot of ferns, she’s used to living in partial shade, so she’s ideal for a room with lower light.
She likes moist soil, so check her weekly and water whenever the top inch of soil is dry. Let any excess drain off.
It’s tempting to stroke those pretty fronds, but Bertie’s not really the touchy-feely type. To avoid her fronds turning brown in protest, best to leave her be.
Boston Fern; Sword Fern
Plant height (including pot)
5-10cm; 20-30cm; 40-50cm
Nursery pot size
6cm; 12cm; 20cm
About Boston Ferns
You’ll find Boston Ferns in the wild in humid, shady areas, like swamps and forests, in South and Central America, the West Indies and Africa. They love anywhere wet, hot and not too bright. As a houseplant, they really became popular with the Victorians - those guys absolutely loved an exotic houseplant - thriving in the poorly lit, likely damp homes of the 1800s.
When looking after one at home, the rule is to never let a Boston fern dry out. Make sure to keep the soil moist and humidity level high. Although it's very tempting, try to resist touching their fronds as they really don't like it and it might turn them brown.
To encourage lots of healthy growth, give it a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.
Did you know?
The Victorians consider ferns a symbol of humility and sincerity, so please don’t boast or lie in its presence.