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Boston FernCare Guide

Boston ferns make a great addition to any home, both aesthetically and practically. Their lush greenery enhances the appearance of their surroundings, while the plant helps to remove harmful pollutants and purify air quality, resulting in a healthier environment. On top of that, Boston ferns fare well in hanging baskets, making them ideal for brightening up even the smallest of spaces.


Boston fern plants can meet their full potential indoors, provided the conditions are right. These plants require indirect sunlight, an ambient temperature, and high humidity. While Boston fern care is relatively simple, they can quickly lose their stunning appearance if kept in an inappropriate environment.


How to maintain the right humidity levels

Ensure your indoor Boston fern gets the right level of humidity to flourish. You could use a mist spray to lightly mist the leaves twice a week. Or you might want to set the pot over a tray filled with pebbles and regularly topped up with water. Check the soil daily to ensure it remains damp, and water when necessary. If you plant your Boston fern in soil which is high in peat moss (which is likely), it can be helpful to thoroughly soak the pot once a month and allow it to drain.


How to maintain the right light levels

Boston ferns require lots of bright light, but they also need it to be mainly indirect. Too much sun can result in a burning effect on the fronds, while too little light will cause the fronds to droop and lose volume. Placing your Boston fern in a porch or window that gets filtered sunshine earlier in the day and shade in the afternoon should work well.


Where to display your Boston fern

The Boston fern develops long, feathery fronds as it matures. These can reach up to three feet in length, making this an ideal plant for creating a stunning indoor hanging plant. The bold fronds look beautiful when cascading over the edge of a basket. For the same reason, a pedestal planter also works well. Younger plants can thrive in a regular pot, given the right light and humidity levels to grow.


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Watering tips

Moisture is essential to help a Boston fern to thrive, so it’s best to water them regularly. Check the dampness of the soil to ensure it’s not too dry – it should be damp but not over-saturated. To enhance the greenness of the fern’s fronds, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of epsom salts to a gallon of water when it starts to look a bit lacklustre.



Pruning a Boston fern is easy – simply remove any dead fronds as they appear. Indoor Boston ferns rarely experience problems such as disease or pest infestation either, which only tend to occur when the plant is left outdoors and neglected. These plants respond well to a more drastic pruning when ready for repotting. Remove any browning leaves and clip back any runners lacking leaves. Trim around the edges rather than taking healthy leaves off the top if you want to reshape the plant.


Repotting and Propagating a Boston fern

Boston ferns can grow rapidly through their first years of life. Most will need repotting every couple of years into the next size up of pot. Spring is the healthiest time for repotting Boston ferns. In the intervening years, change the topsoil in spring even if not repotting. Use a peat moss-based soil mix and add perlite to help with drainage.

You can propagate Boston ferns if your plant becomes too large, or if you want to give a bit of plant power to your loved ones. Using a trowel, carefully separate your plant into two parts, ensuring each half has its fair share of healthy roots. You can then repot each separate plant. You won’t need to feed or fertilize for a month after repotting – the new soil will already have the necessary nutrients.


Other care tips

Boston fern plants are non-toxic to humans, so they’re safe to have around babies and toddlers - even if they’re going through the stage of putting everything they see in their mouths! These plants also help remove many harmful pollutants from the air, which results in a healthier atmosphere for your little ones.

While many ferns can be toxic to pets, including dogs and cats, Boston ferns are entirely safe for pets. Even if Rover takes a bite out of it, or Tibbles spends hours batting the fronds to and fro, there’s no cause for concern.

With their delicate cascade of luscious verdant fronds, Boston ferns can aesthetically enhance any space. Safe for children and pets, relatively easy to care for and with air purifying properties, you can’t go wrong. Use our care tips to keep your newest addition healthy and attractive for years to come.