Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are elegant and timeless houseplants known for their lush, arching fronds that instantly add a touch of nature to any living space. As popular as they are for their visual appeal, they can be a bit finicky to care for, how to care for boston fern especially for those new to indoor gardening.

However, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can create a thriving environment for your Boston Fern, allowing it to flourish and enhance your home. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential aspects of caring for your Boston Fern, from providing the perfect lighting conditions to maintaining adequate humidity, ensuring your plant remains healthy and vibrant.

The Complete Instructions How To Care For Boston Fern

How To Care For Boston Fern

Because they require little maintenance and can be positioned in any home corner, Boston ferns make a wonderful addition. Following are detailed instructions for caring for Boston ferns:

Boston Fern Regularly Water

Boston ferns need regular watering to thrive. I water almost 2 gallons every 4-7 days, but this will vary depending on the climate and size of your Boston fern. Make sure to check the plant regularly, so you don’t overwater it.

Fertilize Your Boston Fern

Boston ferns need regular fertilization to keep their foliage healthy and green. I recommend fertilizing them every month during active growth and once a year in dormancy. Utilize a balanced fertilizer made specifically for indoor plants.

Boston Fern Indirect Light

Boston ferns like moderate indirect light, which means they should not be placed in direct sunlight. They are best positioned in an east or west-facing window or near a bright light source.

Prune Your Boston Fern

Boston ferns will grow if left unchecked; it is important to prune them occasionally. Cut back the stem by at least one-third of its length every other year in active growth or every three years in dormancy. Avoid cutting back too much as this can cause damage to the plant’s roots.

Feed Your Boston Fern

Boston ferns need a balanced diet that includes plant- and animal-based nutrients. You can feed them small amounts of meat once a month or a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks (this will increase the risk of fungal overgrowth).

Keep Your Boston Fern In A Humid Place

One of the most important steps in taking care of your Boston fern is keeping it in a humid place. A house with ambient humidity of around 50% should be perfect for keeping them happy and healthy. No humidifier is needed!

Re-Pot as They Grow

Boston ferns need to be re-potted every three or four years, depending on how fast they grow. When it’s time to pot your Boston fern, ensure the roots have started coming out of the pot. The plant is at least two-thirds of its length every other year in active growth or every three years in dormancy. Avoid cutting back too much as this can cause damage to the plant’s roots.

Monitor Your Boston Fern’s Growth

Check your Boston fern’s growth regularly to make sure it is getting the water and sunlight it needs. If you notice any changes in the growth, water, or color of the leaves, then adjust the care instructions accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Keep My Boston Fern Happy?

Boston ferns are a popular indoor plant, but they can be finicky. The key to keeping them content is to provide the ideal surroundings. Boston ferns prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity. They also need a lot of water; make sure the potting soil is constantly moist but not wet.

What Does An Overwatered Boston Fern Look Like?

An overwatered Boston fern typically has limp and wilted fronds with a generally unhealthy appearance. The roots may rot if the potting soil is allowed to become soggy, which would eventually kill the plant.

What Does Epsom Salt Do For Ferns?

Ferns need soil that is high in magnesium. Epsom salt is a natural source of magnesium and can be used to help ferns grow. Epsom salt’s magnesium helps make the plant’s cells stronger and healthier. It also aids the plant’s defense against pests and disease.

Should I Cut Off Brown Fern Leaves?

Removing the brown fern leaves is not advisable because they are involved in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process that produces organic molecules from simple inorganic molecules from the sun’s energy. The brown fern leaves absorb sunlight and convert it into glucose, which is necessary for the plant to survive.

Can You Water Ferns With Tap Water?

Tap water is not recommended for watering ferns as it can contain harmful chemicals that can damage plants. Instead, use purified or distilled water to avoid any potential problems.


Learning how to care for a Boston Fern may require a bit of patience and attention, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By understanding the plant’s specific needs, such as ideal lighting, watering, and humidity levels, you can create a nurturing environment that allows your fern to thrive.

With proper care, your Boston Fern will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your living space but also serve as a testament to your dedication and skill as a gardener. So, embrace the journey of nurturing your Boston Fern, and enjoy the vibrant, lush greenery it brings to your home.