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Care of the plant Nephrolepis exaltata or Boston Fern.

Care of the indoor plant Nephrolepis exaltata or Boston Fern

The genus Nephrolepis, family Nephrolepidaceae, comprises 30 species of ferns native to tropical regions throughout the world. Some species are: Nephrolepis exaltata, Nephrolepis falcata, Nephrolepis biserrata, Nephrolepis obliterata, Nephrolepis cordifolia.

Common names: Sword fern, Boston Fern, Boston swordfern, Wild Boston fern, Boston Blue Bell Fern, Tuber ladder fern, Fishbone fern.

They are hanging ferns that reach 90 cm (2.95 feet) in height and 2 meters (6.56 feet) in diameter. The arched fronds are long (up to 1.8 meters/5.9 feet in length), light green in color and with serrated margins. On the underside they have rounded sori covered with a kidney-shaped envelope. They do not produce flowers.

They are commonly used in hanging pots as indoor, greenhouse, terrace and patio plants. They are also suitable for understory in tropical and subtropical climate regions.

Nephrolepis exaltata needs a dim light or shade exposure (especially in summer). The ideal temperature is 20-25 ºC (68-77 ºF); the temperature should not drop below 10 ºC (50 ºF).

The soil can be a commercial substrate for houseplants with abundant peat. Transplant in late winter, trimming the dry roots.

Water frequently by immersion and with lime-free water so that the substrate does not dry out completely; overwatering causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop. Spray the leaves frequently with lime-free water, especially in summer.

Fertilize every 3 weeks from mid-spring to late summer with mineral houseplant fertilizer.

They do not need pruning.

They are plants resistant to pests and diseases but sensitive to overwatering and drought. They must be kept away from heat sources and avoid drafts.

They are propagated by division in late winter and by stolon division in summer. Propagation from spores is a complicated process.

Images of the indoor plant Nephrolepis exaltata or Boston Fern

Nephrolepis exaltata
Nephrolepis exaltata
Nephrolepis cordifolia Duffy