Boston Fern

Nephrolepis exaltata cultivated ‘Fluffy Ruffle’
Boston Fern
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BOTANICAL SUPER POWERS

Medium to Bright Indirect

The orientation of your window defines where to put your plant so it gets medium to bright indirect sunlight. If your window faces
North, place your plant between 0 and 1 ft away from it.
East or West, put it 1 to 5 ft away.
South, place it between 1 to 10 ft away, as sunlight from the South is the strongest.

Air Purifying

This plant cleans the air from toxins and VOCs like a pro.

Most notably removes: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, ammonia.

Bacteria-Buster

This plant helps clean the air from bacteria like a pro. Russian scientists tested it in a real room environment.

Purifies: Bacteria A, B, C, D.

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The Boston Fern loves humidity, so you can make it easier for yourself and put it in your bathroom. This way, the plant gets its dose of steam.

Plant story

The Boston Fern, Nephrolepis exaltata cultivated ‘Fluffy Ruffle,’ has green fronds that grow shorter the further away from the root they are on the stem. When in the right conditions (read: cozily humid soil), the voluptuous Boston Fern adds an elegant forest look to any space. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, meaning it does well in UK conditions, even if it’s usually found in warmer climates like Central and South America.

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Place of origin

humid forests from northern South America through Mexico, in Florida and the West Indies

Nephrolepis

This plant comes in different varieties.

Care for your Boston Fern like a pro!

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Care Card Boston Fern

Nephrolepis exaltata cultivated ‘Fluffy Ruffle’
Boston Fern
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1

Light

MEDIUM TO BRIGHT INDIRECT

Check the direction of your window, then put your plant within the range suggested below.

Within any given range, aim to place the plant as close to the window as possible.

North:
0-1 ft
EAST/WEST:
0-5 ft
SOUTH:
1-10 ft
DISLIKES

Direct sunlight

2

Water

HEAVY DRINKER

Check the moisture of the soil 1/week and water only when 1/2" of the topsoil is dry.

1/2' OF THE TOPSOIL IS DRY
DISLIKES

Soil drying out completely

Sitting in water

3

Air

TROPICAL

Aim to provide the air conditions your plant would find in its natural habitat.

TEMPERATURE
18-27°C65-80°F
HUMIDITY
HIGH

Mist daily

Use humidifier

4

Soil

HEAVY EATER

Use liquid fertilizer as indicated below from March to September.

FREQUENCY
monthly
NPK FORMULA
20-10-20
DISLIKES

Fertilizing in winter and fall months

Care for your Boston Fern like a pro!

Light

Boston Fern needs MEDIUM TO BRIGHT INDIRECT.

To place your plant in the perfect spot, let’s start with understanding how much light it needs and how much light your place gets. To figure this out, you need to find the direction of your window and measure how far the plant is from it. First, using the compass or map on your phone, see what direction your window faces: North, East, West, or South. Here’s what you need to remember:

  1. South-facing windows make for the brightest spots, then East- and West-facing, and then North-facing.
  2. If the window is in between two directions, use the least sunny direction as a base.
  3. Each window has an optimal proximity range. Here’s where to put your Boston Fern , based on the direction of your window:
    • within 1ft away from North window;
    • within 5ft away from East or West window;
    • between 1-10ft away from South window;

Within this range, the closer your plant is to the window, the more light photons it gets, and the better it thrives.

The Dislikes of Your Alocasia When It Comes To Light

Your
Boston Fern
doesn’t like direct sun rays. They are harsh and can sunburn the plant’s sensitive foliage.

IMAGE DIRECT SUNLIGT

Note: This is a general guideline. Each place is unique, and you know yours best. Is the window view obstructed by the trees and a highrise? Is there a sheer curtain? If so, less light is coming in. Move your plant closer!

Still not sure if your Boston Fern will be thriving in the spot you picked?

Another simple way to define brightness levels is by measuring the intensity of the shadow. That’s particularly helpful if the view is somewhat obstructed and it’s hard to estimate how much light actually sneaks in. Place a sheet of paper on the spot where you’d like to grow a plant. Hold your hand about 1 foot (30cm) above the paper. Now, what do you see?

Boston Fern needs Medium to Bright Indirect.

Water

Boston Fern is a HEAVY DRINKER.

Check your plant regularly, but only water it when it’s thirsty.

Every plant needs a period of drying for the oxygen to get to its roots. Overwatering damages your plant by preventing that process from happening. So how can you know how much water your
Boston Fern
needs? The ideal watering frequency depends on the plant’s drinking habits and how fast the soil dries out in your unique indoor space, so it would be misleading to recommend a fixed schedule. To best meet your plant’s water needs, monitor it, and watch for the signs it’s thirsty.

Here’s how the how to:

Once a week before giving your plant a drink, check the moisture level in the pot by dipping your finger a couple of inches into the soil.


Heavy Drinkers
need to be watered when 1/2′ of the topsoil is dry.

The dislikes of Your Boston Fern When It Comes To Water

  • Your Boston Fern doesn’t like it when its roots are left sitting in water. They would start to rot and that would irreversibly damage your plant.

What to do: Make sure you always discard the drenched water from the pot or saucer after watering.

  • Your Boston Fern isn’t a fan of the high concentration of chemicals in water.

What to do: To give your plant chemical-free water, fill a bucket with tap water and let it sit for a day. Chlorine and other chemicals will evaporate. Tada! Now, you have clean water that’s much better for your plants.

Air

Boston Fern comes from a Tropical climate. Aim to provide the air conditions it would find in its natural habitat. At all times, maintain a comfortable room temperature of 65-80°F,18-27°C.


Boston Fern
thrives in high humidity (40-50%). It tolerates normal humidity (30-40%), but if the humidity is low (less than 30%), you may notice the foliage getting thin and dry on the edges. You can easily rectify that by misting it daily or using a humidifier.

Soil

To provide your Boston Fern with the right nutrients, fertilize it from March to September.
It’s a HEAVY eater plant. As a rule of thumb, it should be fertilized once a month.

Liquid fertilizer with NPK formula 20-10-20 (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) works best for it.

Otherwise, you can use all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer.

Never fertilize your plant during the winter or fall months. It goes through winter dormancy and its appetite naturally slows down.

Curious to learn more?
Hop down the rabbit hole with us!

Get our grownups’ guide to growing an idoor jungle, where you’ll find everything you need to know about plants, and nothing you don’t. We’ll take you deeper into the plant care world and its 4 elements: light, water, air, and soil. Each section touches on one aspect of plant care to help you keep your plant happy and healthy.

Your plant journey is about to get as fun and simple as ever.