Boston Fern

Sword fern; Nephrolepis exaltata

Why we love Bertie

She’s a great plant for rooms that don’t get lots of light and she especially loves a steamy bathroom. We love her delicate, woodland look.

Most light conditions
Easy care
The patch promise

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.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Nephrolepis Exaltata


Boston Fern; Sword Fern

Plant type

Fern; indoor

Air purifying


Plant height (including pot)

5-10cm; 20-30cm; 50-60cm

Pet/baby safe


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.