12 indoor ferns to grow in your home

When you're looking for a new plant for your home, a fern is a great choice. Their delicate fronds bring a touch of the wild into your home. Plus, they're resilient and can even contribute to a calmer indoor environment.

Indoor ferns thrive in low-light areas, which makes them ideal for shady spots. They're also well suited to humid environments, turning your bathroom into a spa-like haven.

Indoor fern plants have an exotic charm with their delicate fronds that unfurl to create lush spaces. Finally, these fronds possess powerful air-cleaning abilities that reduce the pollution in your home.

So, if you're looking for a new fern to adorn your home, then we have chosen our top ferns.

1. Boston fern 'Montana'

A fantastic fern, Nephrolepis exaltata 'Montana' is a compact Boston fern that looks beautiful all year around. A slower-growing fern that has a uniform habitat and thrives with basic care.

It tolerates all indoor light levels except deep shade and needs misting regularly.

2. Japanese bird's nest fern 'Osaka'

A unique-looking indoor fern, Asplenium antiquum 'Osaka' has pointed tips and ruffled edges. They are structurally interesting and add a real tropical look to your home.

We recommend not touching new fronds. Water and mist regularly, especially if the heating is on.

3. Blue fern 'Blue Star'

A fairly easy to plant and look after, Phlebodium aureum 'Blue Star' has blue/green fronds that naturally curl. They grow in rainforests with high humidity levels, which are perfect for bathrooms.

These ferns love indirect light, and you should keep the compost moist.

4. Emerald fern

A feathery Asparagus densiflorus is great for hanging baskets. The stems are initially upright before cascading into a mass of green feathers.

Water regularly in summer, but less in winter. Mist the leaves occasionally, especially with heating.

5. Bird's nest fern 'Crispy Wave'

A great fern, Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' is easy to care for and is also air purifying. It has distinctive sword-shaped yellow-green leaves with a ruffled texture.

Water regularly so the compost remains moist. You should avoid handling new fronds.

6. Staghorn fern

Platycerium bifurcatum attaches to branches in its natural environment, making it a fab hanging houseplant. It has a combination of flat and arching fronds, which give it its name and tropical look.

Staghorn ferns need a humid environment and to be well watered. Place in light shade.

7. Rabbit's foot fern 'Bunny'

This plush green fern, Humata tyermanii 'Bunny', is one of the easiest ferns to grow. The fronds unfurl along the top of the pot before dangling over the sides.

It flourishes in a brightly lit spot and loves high humidity. Water regularly in the growing season.

8. Sicklethorn

Asparagus falcatus is an easy fern to care for, and its stems can twine together to grow as a climbing fern. Plus, mature plants can produce small sprays of white flowers that have a sweet perfume.

Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged, with good drainage. Place in a bright spot.

9. White-striped Cretan brake

An unusual and pretty fern, Pteris nipponica, with fronds with cream and green variegation. Forming on slow-spreading rhizomes, they have a lacy, ethereal appearance that is unique for a houseplant.

Place in indirect light or light shade and keep in a humid environment.

10. Asparagus fern

This is actually not a fern, Asparagus setaceus, comes from the Asapargus genus. However, people often confuse its slender stems and horizontal spreading frond-like branches.

Water regularly in the growing season and mist the leaves regularly. Place in light shade.

11. Ribbon Fern 'Mayi'

An attractive perennial fern, Pteris cretica 'Mayi' has long stemmed fronds topped with variegated green and cream leaves. A great choice for humid spots and brighter areas like a bathroom.

You should regularly water the ribbon fern and keep it above 10°C in winter.

12. Maidenhair fern

Black stems hold the triangular fronds of this elegant fern, Adiantum raddianum. Starting soft yellow-green, they turn to a deep green as they mature. Great in a terrarium or steamy bathroom.

Grow in bright, indirect light, but keep them well watered. Reduce watering in winter.

How to care for your indoor fern

Caring for ferns can be tricky if they're not in the right spot. However, with a few small tips, you can keep them looking lush and green. These are general tips, but for more specific information, read our fern plant pages.

Choose the right light

Indoor ferns prefer a shady, dappled light, so place them somewhere they have some light, but not directly. Certain types of plants prefer shade, so check our plant pages for specific care instructions.

Water and humidity

Ferns like their compost to remain moist but not waterlogged, so water them regularly. You can cut this back in the winter. They also love a humid atmosphere, so place them somewhere steamy or mist them regularly. This is especially important when the heating is on in the winter.

Stable temperatures

Like us, ferns like to have stable temperatures. Ensure they stay above 10°C in winter and below 25°C in summer.

Feed regularly

Regularly use a houseplant fertiliser, like Plantsmith's houseplant feed and tonic. Fertilize ferns from spring to autumn, not in winter, when they are usually dormant.

Repot when needed

The roots can often become root-bound every couple of years in spring. If you see roots emerging from the bottom drainage holes, it is a sign it's time to repot your fern. Using a sharp trowel, cut your fern in half and pot both halves in individual pots so the roots have space to grow. Plus, you'll get a whole new fern to add to your collection.

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