Plant Care Guide Nephrolepus

Difficulty Level: Modest

What is the Boston Fern plant?

The Nephrolepus, also known as the “Tuber Ladder Fern,” “Herringbone Fern” and “Ladder Fern,” is remarkable for its lengthy fronds that produce small, ornamental leaves. A very common houseplant, the Boston Fern is especially sturdy, boasting heightened tolerances in regard to varying light, water and temperature conditions.

It can be grown as a hanging plant or a potted plant, and the steps to keeping it healthy are as simple as they come, ensuring that you will end up with a healthy, beautiful plant regardless of how intensely you care for it.

Light CareLight Care

The Boston Fern prefers bright, indirect light. Too much bright, direct light could lead to its small leaves burning and losing their light green color, and too little light can lead to slow or reduced growth. 

Indirect light is best if you want to see this plant’s elongated foliage in all its glory. There is a reason that it has been given the nicknames “Tuberous Sword Fern,” “Narrow Sword Fern” and “Erect Sword Fern.” The better the lighting, the more developed the foliage!

Water CareWater Care

The name “Fishbone Fern” clues you into the plant’s love for staying nice and moist. Water your Boston Fern on a weekly basis, keeping it consistently damp. Dry soil is unfavorable for all houseplants, and even more so for this plant. Keeping its roots wet and healthy are crucial for the Boston Fern’s growth.

To check the water levels of your plant’s soil, place a water meter several inches into the soil, where it will give you an accurate indication. If you do not own a water meter, stick one finger knuckle-deep into the soil. At this depth, you will be able to accurately account for the soil’s level of moistness.

Food GuideFood Guide

The Boston Fern prefers soil that is loamy and contains a mixture of organic materials. Make sure that the soil drains well, as this will help prevent root rot. Once every couple of months during the growing season, provide your fern with either slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizer to encourage greater growth.

Staff Holy Grail Tip:

Good news, houseplant lovers: the Boston Fern’s evergreen foliage keeps its luscious beauty in all different types of lighting! While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can tolerate shaded areas of your home very well. If you are struggling to find a space in your home that offers bright, indirect light, a shaded spot should have little to no effect on the plant’s beauty!