Fern houseplants come in a wider variety than most people realize. They are also some of the oldest plants in the world—thriving since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Their lacy fronds and classic texture have been loved for generations because they complement just about any design scheme. Ferns look stunning when mixed together and even more beautiful when mixed with other large leaf houseplants, like philodendrons and sansevierias.
Humidity: Growing ferns isn’t actually all that difficult, well not any more difficult than any other houseplant. If there is one aspect of successful fern growing that’s essential, it would be: humidity. Ferns love above-average humidity levels, which in Colorado can prove quite difficult. Growing ferns in places like a bright bathroom or kitchen is ideal because those areas of your home are generally more humid. However, if you’d like to grow them in a dining room our living room adding a tray of damp pebbles or stones underneath the plant will help bring that extra moisture it craves. Misting at regular intervals with room temperature water can also help give that fern some much needed humidity love. If you start seeing their fronds turning brown and leaves dropping it needs some moisture, quickly.
Water and Soil: Just as humidity is very important, so is making sure your fern is getting enough water and the soil is well-draining. These two things go hand in hand because when you water your fern you want to soil to be moist but not soggy, as that will cause root rot. Choosing the right soil that will help keep your soil moist but not get waterlogged is important to the health of your fern. Soil with material like peat-moss or perlite will help make sure that water doesn’t pool and kill those roots.
Light: Ferns typically are growing on the shady forest floor, but that’s not to say they don’t need light. Ferns like to have bright, filtered, indirect light for most of the day. Positioning them near a window that gets morning or late afternoon sunlight is ideal but make sure those delicate fronds are hidden away from direct strong sunlight as it will burn them. If you start seeing yellow fronds that usually means you are not giving the fern enough light.
Fertilizer: Fertilizing houseplants is an often-overlooked step in taking care of those little indoor plant babies. Giving your houseplant a little extra boost of growing power during the spring summer months can go a long way. Ferns are no different and will benefit from regular plant food. Feed them every two to four weeks with a liquid fertilizer like Bonide Liquid Plant Food, making sure to dilute fertilizer to half strength. Like almost all houseplants there is no need to fertilize in the winter because the plant rests.
At City Floral Garden Center, we carry Denver’s largest variety of ferns and houseplants. Come check out all the varieties of ferns and take one of these beauties home.