Nephrolepis leaf
Nephrolepis (Boston Fern) - Care tips

How to Care for Boston Fern (Nephrolepis) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

When people talk about indoor ferns, they usually mean Nephrolepis ferns. These ferns are hardy and can grow quickly indoors with the proper care and conditions. With a bit of love and attention, they can even grow to be quite impressive in size! Nephrolepis quickly became an ornamental plant that is popular in many households. Because, among us, who doesn't like a little fern here and there to accentuate their urban jungle?

Nephrolepis is a genus that includes about 44 species of ferns belonging to the family Nephrolepidaceae. These ferns are originally from subtropical and tropical regions in places like South-East Asia and South America. Nephrolepis ferns have long, narrow fronds that are typically pinnate or divided into smaller leaflets. The fronds emerge from a central crown and can grow up to 30 cm in length, depending on the species. Gorgeous!

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Boston Fern Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Boston Fern loves bright, indirect light. Find a spot close to a window where the sunlight is gently diffused.
  2. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Your Boston Fern fronds are pretty sensitive and its leaves can get damaged from too intensive sunrays.
  3. Make sure to water your Nephrolepis regularly, but don't give it too much water. Wait for the soil to get a bit dry before watering it again. Avoid letting it sit in standing water.
  4. This plant grows best in temperatures between 16 -24°C. Keep it away from cold drafts or hot radiators that can cause temperature fluctuations.
  5. If your Boston Fern plant has brown leaf tips, don't worry! It's a common issue that can be easily fixed with some adjustments to your care routine. Try watering your Boston Fern more regularly, increasing humidity levels, or moving it out of direct sunlight to prevent further brown tips.
  6. Boston Fern enjoys high humidity levels. Place a humidifier near the plant, or place it on a tray filled with pebbles and water to increase humidity.
  7. Give it some fertiliser during growing season. Feed Boston Fern with a liquid fertiliser every 4-6 weeks during the spring and summer.
  8. Prune the plant regularly to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. Remove any yellow or brown leaves, and cut back any leggy stems.
  9. Don't forget to change the pot of your Nephrolepis plant every one to two years because it can become too big for its current pot and requires more room to grow. These plants grow quickly!
  10. Keep an eye out for pests. Boston Fern is prone to pests like spider mites and mealybugs. Inspect the plant regularly, and treat any infestations promptly.

Nephrolepsis Care Tips

Boston Fern light requirements

Nephrolepis generally like semi-shade, but make sure there is no direct light! A great spot to put it is near a window with filtered sunlight or a semi-shaded area. Any spot that gets sufficient light without direct sun exposure works great!

If Boston Fern plant doesn't get enough light, it can't perform photosynthesis and grow properly. This may result in pale and yellow leaves and a weaker and more fragile plant. The fronds may also become smaller and sparse without enough light.

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Nephrolepsis plants can be picky about soil moisture, so it's important to keep an eye on it! Too dry soil or overwatering are the most common reasons they may die. To prevent this, always check the soil before watering your plant again.

The best time to water your Boston Fern is when the topsoil has slightly dried out. They love their soil moist but not too wet. If you feel with your fingers that the soil is too dry, you can give it a good splash of water.

Good to know! Your Boston Fern can handle occasional forgetfulness and survive short periods without water. However, it may not be very happy if you let it go too long without water.


Boston Fern plant doesn't need a lot of fertiliser, so you don't have to worry too much about feeding it. However, if you want to give your plant a little boost, you can use PLNTS Nutrition liquid plant food during spring and summer after every 4-6 weeks. This will help your Nephrolepis grow faster and look even more stunning.

Temperature & humidity

Keep the temperature around 18-24°C and humidity around 50-80%, and your Nephrolepsis will be one happy indoor fern! Although it prefers high humidity, it can still tolerate lower levels down to 30%. Just make sure not to expose it to low humidity levels for too long, or it may stunt growth and cause the leaves to turn brown, leaving it more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Read how to raise humidity for your houseplants.

Good to know! Since she loves moisture and warmth, like other ferns, the bathroom is a perfect place for this green baby. Just avoid placing your fern near air conditioning or heating vents, as these can dry out the air and harm the plant.

Soil & repotting

Nephrolepsis ferns usually need to be repotted every one to two years or when the roots become overcrowded and outgrow the pot. The ideal soil for Nephrolepsis ferns should be porous and well-draining, allowing excess water to flow out of the pot. We recommend using organic PLNTS houseplant soil with perlite grains for the best results!

Boston Fern propagation

Propagating your Nephrolepsis fern is a simple process that can be done in the spring when repotting your houseplants.

  1. Start by using a clean and sharp pruning shear to cut off the small fern that is growing next to the main stem. Remember to clean the pruning shear before and after using it on the plant to prevent the spread of disease and pests.
  2. Place your baby plant in a pot with well-draining cutting soil.
  3. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and avoid exposing the cuttings to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Your baby Nephrolepsis fern should develop a root system within a few weeks and grow into a beautiful new houseplant. It's easy and rewarding!

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Most common pests on Nephrolepis

Unfortunately, these babies are susceptible to getting attacked by pests. Spider mites and mealybugs love Nephrolepis. If your plant gets infected, it’s important to react quickly to be sure your green friend remains healthy.

If you take a close look at your plant and see something, but you are not sure of what it can be, we advise you to check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests!

Is Nephrolepis poisonous for your pets or children?

Good news! If you have pets and are worried about their safety around your Nephrolepsis fern, you can rest easy knowing that this plant is non-toxic to both pets and children. So, even if your furry friends love to nibble on your greenery, you don't have to worry about any harmful effects.

Buy your new Nephrolepis online at

At, we offer two exciting possibilities for you to add a beautiful Nephrolepis fern to your home! If you're a fan of rich, dark greens, you'll love our Nephrolepis Green Fantasy. It's an excellent choice for those who want a bold, eye-catching houseplant. If you prefer a lighter shade, our Baby Nephrolepis Blonde is another great option that adds a soft touch of green to any room - Buy your new Nephrolepis online at

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Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!