Boston fern

Boston ferns are such a gorgeous plant but MAN they can be tricky! I have finally after many years learnt the way to succeed with my own boston fern and I am here to teach you how I do it! It might not work for your boston fern because we all know how fussy they can be - but what works for me will hopefully work for you too.

Light:

Boston ferns are often sold as plants that love the shade, this can often lead people to place them in really dark corners of their house that are really too dark for any plant to thrive. My boston fern is currently sat just to the side and underneath a medium south facing window, here it can see the sky from its point of view but the sun never hits the leaves, keeping it safe from scorching. I will attach photos to the end of this article showing this set up.

Water:

 

This is where it can be tricky with ferns and especially boston ferns. The usual advice is don't allow them to dry out so water when the top of the soil is dry. This should work ok but what I do with mine (which goes against all my usual plant advice), is put some water in the bottom of the cover pot which the plant sits in and soaks up from underneath, then I usually check once every 1/2 weeks and if all the water is gone - I top it up again. Usually this would lead to root rot but my boston fern is the happiest I have ever seen it so I'm going to keep it up for now!

 

Humidity: 

All ferns love humidity, so I would recommend keeping yours in a bathroom or using a humidifier or a wet pebble tray. Saying that however, mine is in my office and I don't ever mist, use a humidifier OR sit it on a tray of wet pebbles - and I rarely have much issue of crispy leaves. This may just be good luck or to do with the fact that I'm filling the cover pot with some water which creates a bit of humidity in itself. But if you boston fern seems happy in a non humid room - don't feel like you have to move it!

Food:

You can feed your boston fern every month or so in the growing season (spring-summer).

Tips:

It is pretty much inevitable that you will get some brown leaves, particularly at the bottom of the plant, I do a clean up every so often and snip off any brown bits. This does not signify that there is a problem with the plant as long as the rest of the plant still looks happy. Plants are living things just like humans and imperfections will happen, please don't think plants will be picture perfect all of the time.

Photos of the placement of my boston fern: