The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is a species of fern native to tropical regions of the Americas, particularly Florida, Mexico, and Central and South America.
It is a member of the Nephrolepidaceae family, which includes over 30 species of ferns.
The Boston fern has been a popular houseplant since the Victorian era, and it continues to be a favorite due to its attractive appearance and ease of care.
It is also known for its air-purifying properties, making it a great choice for improving indoor air quality.
In addition to its use as a houseplant, the Boston fern is also commonly used in outdoor landscaping in warm, humid climates. It is often used as a ground cover or planted in hanging baskets to add a touch of greenery to patios and porches.
There are several cultivars of the Boston fern available, including the 'Bostoniensis' cultivar, which is the most common variety. This cultivar features finely divided fronds that give the plant its signature feathery appearance.
Boston ferns prefer bright, indirect light. They can also tolerate low light conditions, but this may cause the plant to produce fewer fronds. Keep your Boston fern away from direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves.
Boston ferns require consistent moisture, but they do not like to be overwatered. Water your Boston fern when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent water-logging, which can lead to root rot.
Boston ferns thrive in a humid environment. You can increase the humidity around your Boston fern by placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier. Misting the fronds of the plant can also help increase the humidity.
Boston ferns benefit from regular fertilisation. You can use a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser every two to three months during the growing season (spring and summer). Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the fertiliser packaging.
Pruning your Boston fern can help maintain its shape and promote new growth. You can remove dead or yellowing fronds by cutting them off at the base of the stem. You can also trim back the fronds of the plant if they become too long.
Boston ferns do not require frequent repotting, but you may need to repot them if they become root-bound. You can repot your Boston fern in fresh potting soil every two to three years. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one, and ensure that it has good drainage.