Ferns are such spectacular plants to grow indoors. Their foliage is so lush and voluminous! The texture and vibrant color instantly energize any room. They’re especially great for living rooms and home offices—having all that fresh greenery in your space can dramatically improve your focus and motivation!
While these plants aren’t high-maintenance, they do require a little more attention than your typical beginner plants. Here’s a list of our favorite varieties to grow indoors, plus some care instructions to keep your fern happy in an indoor environment.
How Do I Keep My Ferns Happy Indoors?
The most important thing to remember when growing ferns indoors is that they love lots of bright light, but it’s best filtered or indirect light. Intense, direct sunbeams may scorch the leaves. A north or east-facing window that gets soft morning light will work great, or a window with sheer curtains. If you have a particularly large, shaggy fern, it will benefit from a 90° turn every time you water it, so all sides receive the same amount of light.
Ferns tend to like humidity as well. A spray bottle with a delicate mist setting will help keep the leaves nourished if the air in your home is particularly dry. You can also use plug-in humidifiers—some are actually quite small and convenient. Small potted indoor ferns do well on top of pebble trays filled with an inch of water; as the water evaporates, the leaves soak up the moisture.
These houseplants prefer consistently moist soil. Avoid allowing the soil to go completely dry, as this will stress out your plant. Just don’t go overboard with the watering. Overwatering is just as bad as underwatering, and it can lead to root rot, which is both challenging and unpleasant to treat.
Most ferns do well in a loose, well-draining potting mix, unless they’re epiphytic, like the Staghorn fern. Epiphytic plants are happy when they’re grown in light, soilless mediums like peat moss.
The Best Types of Ferns to Grow Indoors
Ferns are quite a diverse family of plants, and each cultivar has interesting, distinctive features. Here are some standouts that we absolutely love for indoor decorating.
Brittle Maidenhair Fern
We love this variety of maidenhair fern for its vivid lemon-lime foliage that grows along black stems. Instead of the slender blades of pinnate leaves you typically associate with ferns, this one has frilly, fan-shaped leaves reminiscent of ivy plants. It likes alkaline soil, so you may want to consider amending your soil with supplements to adjust the pH level.
Fine, delicate needle-like leaves densely cluster together, forming fluffy, feathery plumes of foliage. Needless to say, the asparagus fern is pretty adorable. You won’t be able to resist touching it! It has an airy, dreamy quality that makes it perfect for decorating your bedroom.
This beloved indoor plant is a household staple—they’re st so thick and shaggy! With a maximum spread of 2 feet wide and tall, Boston ferns bring so much color into your living space, and they’re one of the easiest types to care for. Hang them in your window instead of curtains—you’ll love the way the light twinkles through their cascading canopy of green leaves.
It’s clear to see why this intriguing plant got its name. Its fronds look just like antlers! Since it’s an epiphyte, it doesn’t necessarily need to be grown in a pot. Some growers will envelop the roots of their Staghorn in a bundle of sheet or sphagnum moss and mount it to a plaque! They start small, but can grow up to 3 feet wide and tall if you take good care of them.
Lemon Buttons Fern
Cute little round leaves emerge as yellow and then transition to jade green, hence the name lemon buttons! It reaches a modest 12 inches wide and tall, making it an excellent houseplant for small spaces. Under ideal conditions, this beauty can live up to 20 years old!
To see even more gorgeous indoor fern varieties in Des Moines, visit Ted Lare Garden Center to see what’s new and exciting! Our staff will happily provide you with fern care instructions if you need some pointers.