Plants

Sword Fern (Nephrolepis): Plant Care Guide

These lush, wild, and unruly plants are loved by many green-fingered individuals across the globe. They’re also a popular option for amateurs too. Despite their usual habitat being beneath a canopy of trees and embellishing forest floors, Sword Ferns make a great houseplant too.

With their elegant curled leaves, they can grow to heights of one meter outdoors, while indoors they typically grow to around half that height.

Care needs

To ensure your Sword fern thrives, it’s important to place it in a cool location, out of direct sunlight, and in an area that is privy to high humidity. Follow these simple steps and your plant will reward you with a rich green crown that endeavors to keep on growing.

Fertilizing your ferns: To ensure your ferns stay nourished, feed them throughout the summer months – look to use a liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks. Avoid using a full-strength fertilizer as this can cause damage to your plant’s root system.

How to plant

The majority of ferns, especially those able to be grown indoors, necessitate the same standard care. These plants are a popular choice for terrariums because they thrive when moisture is in the air. If you’re not noticing a great deal of growth, or your fern fronds are browning at the tips, it is likely they’re not getting enough humidity.

If this is the case, mist them with a water bottle to ensure they stay moist. Alternatively, invest in a humidifier. If all else fails, consider moving your plants away from rooms with dry air and into a place that boasts higher humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen.

Sword ferns can also be used to provide groundcover when planted outdoors, and once they are established, they are drought resistant. However, should you move them from indoors to out, they’ll require regular watering for the first year.

Watering needs

For best results, opt for well-draining soil. Ferns are not too fussy when it comes to soil, however, their roots will diminish if constantly wet. For this reason alone, it is a good idea to pick a well-draining potting mix.

Ensure the soil is moist at all times. Ferns love water, which is why they thrive best when placed in soil that is either evenly or consistently moist. To ensure your fern is happy, water it thoroughly as soon as the top layer of soil begins to dry out.

Despite their love for the water, avoid overwatering your plants, as soil that is too soggy can be detrimental to your fern and will encourage a fungal or bacterial infection. Ferns love high humidity as they are native to the jungle. To ensure they get the same treatment in your home and to ensure they thrive, mist them regularly.

Light requirements

Choose a location that benefits from medium light. Since a fern’s natural habitat is underneath a canopy of trees in the wild, their preferred environment must boast indirect or filtered light as opposed to strong, direct sunlight. With this in mind, the best place for your fern is in a north-facing or south-facing window.

If you only have a west-facing or east-facing window in your home, make sure you place your ferns a few feet away from the window.

Doing so will ensure the leaves don’t burn and should help your fern to thrive. Should your home not benefit from a great deal of natural light, you may want to opt for a Maidenhair or Asparagus fern variant instead, as both can thrive in a low-light environment.

Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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