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Fern Care

Ferns are native to almost every corner of the globe, but particularly abundant in areas of high moisture, like a tropical rainforest floor. They are seldom found in cold, dry climates. Ferns reproduce through spores, meaning they produce neither seeds nor flowers.

How to care for your Fern

Use these instructions to care for a Fern. This guide will tell you how to water a Fern; its light, temperature, humidity preferences and any additional care it might need to help it grow.

Bird's Nest Fern

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LIGHT

Your Bird’s Nest Fern will do best in medium to low light. The more light it receives, the more the leaves will crinkle and the less light, the flatter the leaves will be. Keep in mind, too much light or direct sunlight will cause the fronds on the fern to yellow and die.

WATER

Under ideal circumstances, all ferns would like to have constantly moist, but not wet soil. However, the Bird’s Nest Fern will tolerate soil that dries out from time to time.

HUMIDITY

This plant does not require the same level of humidity that many other kinds of ferns need, making the Bird’s Nest Fern more forgiving for the occasionally forgetful plant owner.

TEMPERATURE

This fern will enjoy a warm area, preferably between 68-80 degrees, so maintain indoor temperatures above 60 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

FOOD

For best results, use a general houseplant fertilizer at half strength 2-3 times during the spring and summer. Too much food will cause deformed leaves with brown or yellow spots. 

TOXICITY

Bird’s Nest Ferns are non-poisonous plants and safe for humans, dogs and cats.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Try to keep the leaves of the Bird’s Nest Fern dry to avoid bacterial and fungal infections. Never put water in the crown (center) of a Bird’s Nest Fern since the crown rots easily. The fronds are fragile, so put this fern where passersby will not brush up against it.

Button Fern

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LIGHT

Your Button Fern will thrive in low to bright indirect light. Take care to avoid direct sun exposure, as it will scorch the foliage.

WATER

Water your Button Fern when the top inch of the soil becomes dry. When watering, thoroughly drench until the water drains into the saucer. Empty the saucer of any standing water so as not to drown the roots. Button Ferns do not like soggy soil.

HUMIDITY

Your Button Fern requires an environment with higher humidity, making it the perfect bathroom or kitchen plant. Throughout the dryer times of the year, use a pebble tray to increase moisture, along with frequent misting.

TEMPERATURE

The ideal temperature for your Button Fern is between 60-75 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and direct air from heating and cooling vents.

FOOD

For best results, use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once every month during the spring and summer. No need to feed your plant in the winter, when growth naturally slows. Before applying any form of fertilizer, make sure the soil is damp. Never apply to dry soil.

TOXICITY

Button Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Watch for fronds that are yellowing and wilted, these are signs of overwatering. Brown leaf tips are caused by high temperatures (above 80 degrees) or dry air. Trim off any dry leaflets and raise the humidity around your plant with regular misting or a pebble tray.

Crocodile Fern

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LIGHT

Your Crocodile Fern will do best in bright indirect to low light. A northern or eastern window provides the best light exposure. Turn the plant once or twice each month to encourage even growth.

WATER

Water your Crocodile Fern when the top inch of soil is dry, until water flows through the pot’s drainage holes. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly before placing it back on its saucer. Take care not to have any standing water in the saucer, as this may lead to root rot.

HUMIDITY

Humidity is important when growing ferns indoors. Use a pebble tray under the pot and spray the leaves with a gentle mist several times each week to increase humidity. A kitchen or bathroom is an ideal environment for your Crocodile Fern, as these areas are naturally higher in humidity.

TEMPERATURE

This fern will enjoy a warm area, preferably between 68-80 degrees, so maintain indoor temperatures above 60 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

FOOD

Use a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength 2-3 times during the spring and summer months. Make sure the soil is thoroughly damp before fertilizing–never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

TOXICITY

Crocodile Ferns are non-poisonous plants and safe for humans, dogs, and cats.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Trim off crowded fronds to encourage airflow. This will help reduce the possibility of fungal infections.

Emina Fern

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LIGHT

Emina Ferns prefer bright, filtered, or diffused light out of direct sun.

WATER

Maintaining the correct soil moisture is key to keeping your Emina Fern happy and healthy. The soil should be constantly moist, but not soggy and never let the soil dry out completely or sit in water. Water enough to keep the soil surface evenly moist during the spring and summer. During the winter, decrease the frequency and allow the soil surface to dry slightly before watering.

HUMIDITY

Your fern prefers slightly higher humidity. Mist the fronds twice a week during the spring and summer, and cut back to once every two weeks in the winter while your fern goes into a resting period.

TEMPERATURE

This beautiful fern does not like being cold and does best when the temperature is between 60-75 degrees. If the temperature falls below 60 degrees, it will stop growing. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

FOOD

For best results, use a general all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer once every month during the spring and summer. Never feed a fern when the soil is dry, it will burn the fronds.

TOXICITY

Emina Ferns are non-poisonous to humans and pets.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Regularly remove any dead fronds from the plant to encourage healthy, rich, and green growth. Cut stems at the soil line with clean, sharp shears. If you wish to boost the fern’s vigor and deepen the plant’s color, supplement regular fertilizing once during the spring and again in midsummer with 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts dissolved in a gallon of water.

Kimberly Queen Fern

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LIGHT

Your Kimberly Queen Fern prefers bright, indirect light, but can survive in the direct sun if it’s watered on a regular basis and the soil remains moist.

WATER

Allow the top 2-3” of soil to dry out before watering. The fronds of the fern will become pale green when the plant needs water. Crispy brown fronds, especially in the center of the fern, usually indicate overwatering.

HUMIDITY

Your fern prefers slightly higher humidity. Mist the fronds on a regular basis, especially in the winter months when it’s drier inside.

TEMPERATURE

This beautiful fern does not like to be cold, so it’s best to keep the temperature between 65-80 degrees. If the temperature falls below 60 degrees, it will stop growing.

FOOD

For best results, use a general houseplant fertilizer at half strength once every three months. Never feed a fern when the soil is dry, it will burn the fronds.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Regularly remove any dead fronds from the plant to encourage healthy, rich, and green growth. Make sure your Kimberly Queen Fern is not in a drafty area in your home or office.

TOXICITY

Kimberly Queen Ferns are non-poisonous to humans and pets.

Lemon Button Fern

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LIGHT

Your Lemon Button Fern will thrive in medium to bright indirect light. Take care to avoid direct sun exposure, as it will scorch the foliage.

WATER

Water your Lemon Button Fern when the top inch of the soil becomes dry, then thoroughly drench until the water drains into the saucer. Empty the saucer of any standing water so not to drown the roots. The worst thing you can do to you is to overwater – Button Ferns do not like soggy soil.

HUMIDITY

Your Lemon Button Fern requires an environment with higher humidity, making it the perfect bathroom or kitchen plant. Throughout the dryer times of the year, use a pebble tray to increase moisture, along with frequent misting.

TEMPERATURE

The ideal temperature for your Lemon Button Fern is between 60-75 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and direct air from heating and cooling vents.

FOOD

Use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once every month during the spring and summer. No need to feed your plant in the winter, when growth naturally slows. Before applying any form of fertilizer, make sure the soil is damp. Never apply to dry soil.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Watch for fronds that are yellowing and wilted, these are signs of overwatering. Brown leaf tips are caused by high temperatures (above 80 degrees) or dry air. Trim off any dry leaflets and raise the humidity around your plant with regular misting or a pebble tray.

TOXICITY

Lemon Button Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets.

Mahogany Fern

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LIGHT

Your Mahogany Fern prefers bright indirect light but will adapt to lower light conditions. Keep out of direct sunlight, as it can burn the foliage.

WATER

Keep your Mahogany Fern’s soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Never allow your fern to dry out completely. Water enough so that water flows freely from the pot’s drainage hole into the saucer. Be sure to discard any standing water in the saucer. If your plant is left standing in water, root rot will occur.

HUMIDITY

The Mahogany Fern will appreciate added humidity. Kitchens and bathrooms are great spots for your fern. Misting often, place a humidifier nearby, or use a pebble tray to boost humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your Mahogany Fern will thrive in normal room temperatures between 65-80 degrees.

FOOD

Feed your fern once a month during the spring to end of summer with a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Regularly remove any dead fronds from the plant to encourage healthy new growth. Cut stems at the soil line with clean, sharp shears.

TOXICITY

Your Mahogany Fern is non-toxic and pet-friendly.

Silver Lace Fern

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LIGHT

Your Silver Lace Fern will thrive in medium to bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight–it will scorch the leaves.

WATER

Maintaining the correct soil moisture is key to keeping your Silver Lace Fern happy and healthy. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy.  When watering, soak thoroughly until water flows from the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes. Never let water collect and puddle in the saucer, as this can lead to root rot.

HUMIDITY

The Silver Lace Fern will appreciate a bit of extra humidity.  Mist frequently and use a pebble tray to increase humidity levels.

TEMPERATURE

The ideal room temperature for your Silver Lace Fern is between 55-75 degrees. If the temperature falls below 55 degrees, it will stop growing. Avoid drafts and direct air from heating and cooling vents.

FOOD

Use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength once every month during the spring and summer. No need to feed your plant in the winter, when growth naturally slows. Before applying any form of fertilizer, make sure the soil is damp. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

TOXICITY

Silver Lace Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets.

ADDITIONAL CARE

For best results, water with filtered water. If you don’t have a filtration system, let tap water sit overnight to evaporate any harsh chemicals and then use the next day.

Silver Ribbon Fern

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LIGHT

The Silver Ribbon Fern thrives in medium to bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it will scorch the leaves.

WATER

Because your Silver Ribbon Fern has a shallow root system, the top inch of soil should remain a bit moist When watering, make sure to water enough so that the soil is completely damp–not soggy–and flows from the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes. Never let water collect and puddle in the saucer, as that can lead to root rot.

HUMIDITY

The Silver Ribbon Fern will appreciate a bit of extra humidity.  Throughout the dryer times of the year, use a pebble tray and mist often.

TEMPERATURE

The ideal temperature for your Silver Ribbon Fern is between 55-75 degrees. If the temperature falls below 55 degrees, it will stop growing. Avoid drafts and direct air from heating and cooling vents.

FOOD

Use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended strength once every month during the spring and summer. There is no need to feed your plant in the winter, when growth naturally slows. Before applying any form of fertilizer make sure the soil is damp–never apply to dry soil.

TOXICITY

Silver Ribbon Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets.

additional care

With a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, trim off the older, outer fronds of Silver Ribbon Fern if they become shabby-looking. This makes room for new fronds ready to unfurl from the many growing points on the rhizome.

Staghorn Fern

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LIGHT

Your Staghorn Fern will thrive in medium to bright indirectlight. It will not do well in low light situations.

WATER

The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. If the soil dries and the leaves start to wilt, water thoroughly and discard any excess water that has dripped into the saucer. Root rot will occur if your Staghorn Fern is left in standing water.

HUMIDITY

Your Staghorn Fern absorbs water through its fronds as well as its roots. This means that they respond well to misting and appreciate extra humidity. Throughout the dryer times of the year, use a pebble tray to increase humidity, along with regular misting.  

TEMPERATURE

The ideal temperature for your Staghorn Fern is between 50-85 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and direct air from a heating and cooling vents.

FOOD

Use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer once every month during the spring and summer. No need to feed your plant in the winter, when growth naturally slows. Before applying any form of fertilizer, make sure the soil is damp. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

TOXICITY

Staghorn Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Your Staghorn Fern can handle a bit of drought, even to the point of slightly wilting. However, they are sensitive to overwatering. Your Staghorn Fern requires less water in the winter, so decrease the frequency of your watering in the colder months.

Maidenhair Oceanspray Fern

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LIGHT

Your Maidenhair Fern prefers bright indirect light but will adapt to medium light conditions. Keep out of direct sunlight, as it can burn the foliage. 

WATER

Keep your Maidenhair Fern’s soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Never allow your fern to dry out completely. Water enough so that water flows freely from the pot’s drainage hole into the saucer. Be sure to discard any standing water in the saucer. If your plant is left standing in water, root rot will occur.  

HUMIDITY

Your Maidenhair Fern will appreciate added humidity. Kitchens and bathrooms are great spots for your fern. Mist often, place a humidifier nearby or use a pebble tray to boost humidity. 

TEMPERATURE

Your Maidenhair Fern will thrive in normal room temperatures between 65-80 degrees. Keep your Fern away from blowing air or drafty areas, as it can cause damage to its delicate leaves.

FOOD

Feed your fern once a month during the spring to end of summer with a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. 

ADDITIONAL CARE

As this plant is rather particular with humidity, it is normal to see occasional leaf browning. Regularly remove any dead fronds from the plant to encourage healthy new growth. Cut stems at the soil line with clean, sharp shears.

TOXICITY

Your Maidenhair Fern is non-toxic and pet-friendly. 

Maidenhair Blush Fern

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LIGHT

Your Maidenhair Blush Fern prefers bright indirect light but will adapt to medium light conditions. Keep out of direct sunlight, as it can burn the foliage. 

WATER

Keep your Maidenhair Fern’s soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Never allow your fern to dry out completely. Water enough so that water flows freely from the pot’s drainage hole into the saucer. Be sure to discard any standing water in the saucer. If your plant is left standing in water, root rot will occur.

HUMIDITY

Your Maidenhair Fern will appreciate added humidity. Kitchens and bathrooms are great spots for your fern. Mist often, place a humidifier nearby, or use a pebble tray to boost humidity. 

TEMPERATURE

Your Maidenhair Fern will thrive in normal room temperatures between 65-80 degrees. Keep your Fern away from blowing air or drafty areas, as it can cause damage to its delicate leaves.

FOOD

Feed your fern once a month during the spring to end of summer with a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. 

TOXICITY

Your Maidenhair Fern is non-toxic and pet-friendly. 

ADDITIONAL CARE

As this plant is rather particular with humidity, it is normal to see occasional leaf browning. Regularly remove any dead fronds from the plant to encourage healthy new growth. Cut stems at the soil line with clean, sharp shears.

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Image of species

What's a Fern?

Botanical Classification: Polypodiaceae

ABOUT

Ferns are native to almost every corner of the globe, but particularly abundant in areas of high moisture, like a tropical rainforest floor. They are seldom found in cold, dry climates. Ferns reproduce through spores, meaning they produce neither seeds nor flowers.

Your Fern will thrive in a low light area of your home with higher humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen.

FUN FACT

Some ferns (like the Staghorn fern) are epiphytic ferns, which means they typically grows on things other than soil, such as tree trunks and rocks. Because of this, you can affix it to a plank and hang it on a wall as a piece of living art!

Pictured Left: Kimberly Queen Fern
plant mom
Ferns love moisture and humidity, so mist often!
- Plant Mom

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