- Boston Fern-Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis Hardy Planting Zones- 9-11 Sun or Shade – Full to Partial Shade Mature Height - 24-36" Mature Width- 1-4' Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner
Boston fern - Nephorlepsis exalata
This is a fern that can also be grown indoors but may need to be contained in sized when grown indoors. The Boston fern was introduced for indoor and outdoor use in 1894 becoming favorite houseplants because of their visual appeal. The leaves of this fern or fronds are naturally having a ruffled lacy appearance with deep cuts nearly to the middle stem of the blade. The length of the fronds make the fern fall over the sides of a pot or spread out when planted outdoors. This makes it a plant indoors that can be set up on shelves, a table or large floor pot. When planted outdoors the fern needs to be watered as it is not drought tolerant and requires well-draining soil that remains moist. In dry climates on hot days the fern should be misted or if in a container outside it may require watering daily. If the outside temperatures are scorching, the Boston fern may need to be watered twice a day. The fern does best when water-soluble fertilizer is used monthly. This kind of fern is pest resistant to insects but can be damaged by slugs, and in this case, they should be removed in the morning or evening. The Boston fern propagates by growing spores when it is healthy and mature resulting in new fern runners that appear that can be divided and planted or cut away to keep the plant a certain size.