skip to main content

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

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 extended periods of direct sunlight will cause the fronds on the fern to get a pale bleached color.

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. When watering, water only the soil – not the leaves. Water accumulating in the crown of your plant could lead to bacterial growth and potential leaf rot. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

HUMIDITY

This plant likes a humid environment, like a bathroom or kitchen. Mist often.

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

Feed once a month during the spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants.

TOXICITY

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

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Button Fern

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 when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

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, a humidifier, or frequent misting to help boost humidity.

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Crocodile Fern

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 when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

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, a humidifier, or frequent misting to help boost 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 once a month during 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 with clean, sharp shears to encourage airflow. This will help reduce the possibility of fungal infections.

See also: Common Issues →

East Indian Holly Fern

LIGHT

Your East Indian Holly Fern prefers bright indirect light but will adapt to medium light conditions. Take care to avoid direct sun exposure, as it will scorch the foliage.

WATER

Water your East Indian Holly Fern when the top 25% 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. Maintaining the correct soil moisture is key to keeping your East Indian Holly Fern happy and healthy. Keep your East Indian Holly Fern’s soil consistently moist, but not soggy, and avoid allowing your fern to dry out completely.

HUMIDITY

Your Holly 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 East Indian Holly Fern will thrive in normal room temperatures between 60–80 degrees. It can tolerate periods of colder temperatures, but for best results keep it in warmer temperatures.

FOOD

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

TOXICITY

Your East Indian Holly Fern is non-toxic and pet-friendly.

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Emina Fern

LIGHT

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

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

HUMIDITY

Your Emina 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, a humidifier, or frequent misting to help boost humidity.

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Footed Blue Star Fern

LIGHT

Your Blue Star Fern prefers bright indirect light but will adapt to lower lighting conditions. It will not tolerate direct sunlight, as the foliage will burn.

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer. This Fern can tolerate drying out a little, but never all the way.

HUMIDITY

Your Blue Star Fern will do just fine in average household humidity but will appreciate a boost in humidity through regular misting or adding a humidifier nearby. Your bathroom and kitchen are great spots to keep your Blue Star Fern, as these areas are most humid.

FOOD

For best results, use a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once a month during the spring and summer. Make sure soil is moist before fertilizing. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

TEMPERATURE

Your Blue Star Fern will thrive in average room temperatures between 65-80 degrees.

TOXICITY

Your Blue Star Fern is non-toxic and pet-friendly.

ADDITIONAL CARE

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

See also: Common Issues →

Kangaroo Fern

LIGHT

Your Kangaroo Fern prefers bright indirect light, but will adapt to lower lighting conditions. It will not tolerate direct sunlight, as the foliage will burn.

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer. This Fern can tolerate drying out a little, but never all the way.

HUMIDITY

Your Kangaroo Fern will do just fine in average household humidity but will appreciate a boost in humidity through regular misting or adding a humidifier nearby. Your bathroom and kitchen are great spots to keep your  Fern, as these spaces have the most humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your Kangaroo Fern will thrive in average room temperatures between 65-80 degrees. 

FOOD

For best results, use a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once a month during the spring and summer. Make sure soil is moist before fertilizing. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil.

TOXICITY

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

ADDITIONAL CARE

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

See also: Common Issues →

Kimberly Queen Fern

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

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

HUMIDITY

Your 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, a humidifier, or frequent misting to help boost humidity.

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.

TOXICITY

Kimberly Queen 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. Make sure your Kimberly Queen Fern is not in a drafty area in your home or office.

See also: Common Issues →

Lemon Button Fern

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 when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

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, a humidifier, or frequent misting to help boost humidity.

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.

TOXICITY

Lemon 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.

See also: Common Issues →

Mahogany Fern

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

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

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.

TOXICITY

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

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Maidenhair Blush Fern

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

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer. This plant will not tolerate drying out.  

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Maidenhair Oceanspray Fern

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

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer. This plant will not tolerate drying out.

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Silver Lace Fern

LIGHT

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

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

HUMIDITY

The Silver Lace Fern will appreciate a bit of extra humidity.  Mist frequently, place a humidifier nearby or 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 or use rainwater.

See also: Common Issues →

Silver Ribbon Fern

LIGHT

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

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

HUMIDITY

The Silver Ribbon Fern will appreciate a bit of extra humidity.  Throughout the dryer times of the year, use a pebble tray, place a humidifier nearby or 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.

LIGHT

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.

See also: Common Issues →

Staghorn Fern

LIGHT

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

WATER

Water when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.

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 place a humidifier nearby, or mist regularly.  

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

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

See also: Common Issues →

Need help caring for your plants?

Download our Vera App
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

Kimberly Queen Fern

Graceful and timeless. This soft fern is low-maintenance and easy to care for.
easy to grow and low maintenance, medium to bright indirect light
View Product

Looking for our plant care basics?

View plant care