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Ferns: Elegant Houseplants

Ferns make fantastic houseplants, boasting thousands of species and being among the oldest plants on the planet. Their adaptability has allowed them to thrive in various conditions, including modern homes. Ferns are popular for adding elegant greenery to your space, and many are safe for pets, making them ideal for first-time gardeners.

While growing ferns indoors can be challenging due to their need for high humidity and moisture, some ferns can adapt well to indoor environments, especially with proper care. Here are our top picks for ferns to raise in your home.

Pendulous Leafy foliage of Maidenhair Fern in a pot.

Maidenhair Fern

Known for its delicate beauty, the Maidenhair Fern is a bit of a diva when it comes to plant care. This elegant fern features small, hand-shaped fronds on wiry black stems. It thrives in rich organic soil that is kept constantly moist. Maidenhair Ferns prefer partial shade and high humidity, making them perfect for bathrooms. Avoid bright light or direct sun exposure.

Staghorn Fern growing from a tree trunk.

Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Ferns are named for their resemblance to deer or elk antlers. They have two types of fronds: shield fronds that protect the root ball and collect water and nutrients, and antler-like fronds that can grow up to 37 inches long. Staghorn Ferns are great statement plants and can be mounted on wood for interesting displays. They thrive in filtered light and warm, humid environments. Be sure to water them frequently and avoid direct sunlight on their fronds to prevent burning.

A Boston Fern with elongated spine structured leaves with crimped edges.

Boston Fern

The Boston Fern is one of the most common and easiest ferns to care for. It features long, sword-shaped fronds and thrives in cool, moist environments with indirect sunlight. Ideal for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens, Boston Ferns need weekly misting and consistently moist soil. Dry soil is a common reason for their demise, so check the soil daily.

A potted up Button Fern with tiny disk shaped leaves.

Button Fern

Button Ferns are low-growing with dark green, spherical leaflets on arching stems. They thrive in bright, indirect sunlight or half shade and are great for beginners due to their tolerance for drier soil. Button Ferns require humidity and consistent watering but are more forgiving than other ferns. They are also non-toxic to pets.

Birds Nest Fern with rosette tapering elongated leaves and curled baby growth in the centre.

Bird's Nest Fern

The Bird's Nest Fern is easily recognizable by its central rosette of elongated, light green fronds with dark central veins. This fern grows best in partial to full shade, avoiding direct sunlight to prevent sun damage. Unlike most ferns, Bird's Nest Ferns can tolerate some neglect in watering, though they still prefer moist and humid conditions. Avoid pouring water directly into the rosette to prevent rotting; instead, water the soil around the plant.