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How to Care for Your Boston Fern

Easy steps to keep this plant prosperous and happy

No houseplant is thirstier for attention than a Boston fern, and we don’t just mean in terms of its care. This humidity-loving plant is a head-turner in any room for its bushy physique and crinkly fronds. Here, Lisa “The Plant Lady” Ponce fills out our tip sheet on this “disco ball of plants.”

Green Thumb: Suggested

Don’t let the name fool you. A Boston fern has no Northeastern roots. It’s a tropical plant, and a moisture-appreciating one at that——to the extent that it can be a struggle for plant owners to keep up with its thirst. Fair warning: If you’re often out of the house, this might not be the one for you.

Lighting Requirements

Generally, the more light a plant receives, the faster it grows.
That’s still the case for Boston ferns, but very harsh light can burn or crisp its fronds. Place yours in indirect light, or even in a low-light setting, like a bathroom. Believe it or not, this is one of the best rooms for a Boston fern, considering it has one of its favorite things——moisture.

Watering Requirement

Boston ferns like their soil damp almost all the time. Water yours at least once a week, but be sure to do a soil touch test to determine how frequently yours actually becomes thirsty. If the soil is dry, give it a bath with a spray hose. Also, consider placing a humidifier by your fern, or even just a glass of water, which will evaporate beside it. To really spoil your plant, consider misting it every day. Remember, your fern will be thirstier on hot days and hold water longer in cooler temperatures.

Planting Pointers

No matter which room you place your Boston fern in, consider hanging it from the ceiling to let it reach its bushiest potential. They’re usually slow growers and you should repot yours once roots begin to pop through drainage holes or water flows quickly through the planter.

PRICE: $7–$30

Enlist Lisa’s Services!

Lisa Ponce provides plant care services for residences and businesses alike. Book Lisa’s Mobile Plant Refresh, an offshoot of Home Ec in Little Italy, for contactless plant house calls. 


Boston Fern

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