Fern, Houseplant Plant Features
Ferns are among the most beautiful houseplants. With lacy fronds and a classic texture, they work well in just about any interior design scheme, from country casual to formal. There's a wider variety of ferns available than most folks realize, so there's abundant opportunity to decorate with these houseplants.
Ferns look beautiful mixed together, but they're also a wonderful choice to combine with other houseplants, especially larger-leafed varieties so you can enjoy the dramatic contrast in leaf texture. Pay attention to color, too -- certain ferns pair better with other houseplants because of coloring, overall plant, shape and other factors. The good news, though, is that you can't go wrong with ferns.
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Fern, Houseplant Growing Instructions
Most ferns grow best in medium to bright light, but shielded from direct sun, especially during the hottest part of the day. If ferns get too much light, the leaves can suffer from sunburn and have a bleached look.
Water most ferns enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet or soggy. Like most houseplants, ferns will rot if they're kept too wet for too long.
Keep ferns healthy and beautiful by providing them with average to above-average relative humidity levels. Their love of moist air makes ferns perfect houseplants for bright bathrooms or kitchens. If ferns don't get enough humidity, their fronds may turn brown and dry prematurely. Because they like humidity, most ferns are ideal plants for terrariums.
Get tips for shopping for and growing beautiful houseplant ferns.
Houseplant ferns are not intended for human or animal consumption.
Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Medium water needs
Purifies the air
Super-easy to grow
Complement your Fern, Houseplant with these varieties:
Accent ferns' fluffy textures with the nerve plant's attractive variegated leaves.
Bromeliads are wonderful partners for ferns, adding fun textures and bold colors.
Varieties: Our Favorites
Asplenium 'Austral Gem'
Austral Gem fern shows off thick, waxy fronds that almost look like plastic! It's an easy-to-grow houseplant that thrives in low or medium light and moist potting mix. It grows about 12 inches tall and wide.
Australian tree fern features large green leaves accented with bronze-brown hairs on the bottom. As it grows, it develops a trunk and a tree-like habit, becoming 10 feet tall and wide. It's hardy outdoors only in Zone 10, but can be grown as a houseplant.
Autumn fern has shiny green fronds that are flushed with bronzy-orange as they emerge, giving the houseplant its seasonal common name.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Bear paw fern offers thick, leathery, dark green fronds and has a coarser texture than many of its cousins. It's quite a dramatic houseplant!Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Bird's nest fern has a different look than its friends; this beautiful houseplant has thick, non-divided leaves that branch out from a central point. This gives it the look of a lush, living bird's nest.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Black rabbit's foot fern shows off finely divided fronds and fuzzy gray-brown rhizomes that creep along the top of the soil or cascade over the edge of the pot. It can grow 18 inches tall and wide indoors over time, but usually stays smaller.Exotic Angel
Phlebodium aureum mandaianum
Blue star fern is vigorous and easy to grow, producing blue-green fronds with ruffled edges. It grows 12 inches tall and wide. You might also see it sold as Polypodium.Exotic Angel
Pteris cretica 'Mayii'
Brake fern, also called table fern or Cretan brake fern, is an excellent houseplant with variegated fronds and a medium growth rate.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
This attractive fern has soft, finely divided mid-green foliage. Over time, it develops creeping stems along the ground that sprout new leaves, making it a fun plant for large terrariums. It's also sometimes called grub fern.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Asplenium nidus 'Cobra'
A fun variation on traditional bird's nest fern, cobra has fronds that branch and divide at the tips, giving it an exotic houseplant look.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Compacta'
This littler version of the classic Boston fern has all the characteristics of its sibling --- elegant, arching fronds and an easy-to-grow nature --- but in a smaller package.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Delilah'
Delilah Boston fern is a stunning houseplant that has softer fronds and tends to grow in a spherical shape, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
A beautiful type of maidenhair fern, this one is a little larger than other varieties -- but just as elegant!Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Florida Ruffle'
This medium-size variety has more finely divided fronds than traditional ferns, giving it a soft, full look.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffle'
Fluffy Ruffle fern looks like you might expect; it has an extra, soft and fluffy look thanks to its finely divided fronds.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepsis exaltata 'Green Fantasy'
A fun twist on the traditional varieties, this Boston fern relative has more finely divided fronds, giving it an even softer, more elegant texture.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
This bird's nest fern looks has medium green leaves with a little bit of a wave to them. It's a slow-growing houseplant, but easy to care for.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
A fun houseplant, kangaroo fern has shiny, dark green fronds that aren't as finely divided as most of its cousins. It creeps along the soil with fuzzy stems that can droop over the sides of its pot.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis cordifolia 'Lemon Button'
Lemon button fern is a cute houseplant that has golden-green foliage that's divided into cute, rounded buttons that run up the fronds.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis cordifolia 'Lucky Lemon'
With deep green fronds, Lucky Lemon fern is a winner due to its fast growth rate and ease as a houseplant.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Mahogany fern has earned its common name because the new fronds emerge a reddish-brown color before maturing to rich green.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
An exceptionally lovely houseplant, maidenhair fern offers divided fronds with a pleasant arching habit. You'll love it!Exotic Angel , O2 for You
This type of maidenhair fern has large fronds, giving it a little different texture. It pairs perfectly with just about every other plant!Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepsis exaltata 'Medusa'
This wildly exotic Boston fern relative has divided, arching fronds, giving it a distinct and fun look.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis Exaltata 'Orlando'
Also called sword fern, this Boston fern relative has upright fronds.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Adiantum tenerum 'Scutum Roseum'
Rosy maidenhair fern has pink-flushed new growth.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Pteris cretica 'Rowerii'
With branched, divided fronds, Rowerii fern has a distinctive look that's right at home in contemporary homes and offices.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Sassy'
A smaller variety of Boston fern, Sassy is a fun tabletop variety that also shines in hanging baskets.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Pteris ensiformis 'Evergemiensis'
One of the most lovely ferns around, this elegant houseplant has finely divided fronds cheerfully variegated in silvery white.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
This exceptional fern offers lush green foliage and, over a course of years, can develop a small trunk, making it look like a dwarf tree fern.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Staghorn fern is one of the most unusual varieties. It's often grown on a piece of wood and hung on a wall, where its fronds grow out and look dramatically like antlers. Because it doesn't need soil, water staghorn fern by misting or soaking it.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Pteris quadriaurita tricolor
Not all ferns are green! Tricolor fern shows off reddish-and bronze new growth.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
Variegated brake fern is a beautiful selection that has long, narrow fronds with silvery-white centers.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
This maidenhair fern has more arching fronds than its cousins, giving it a different shape that's perfect for hanging baskets.Exotic Angel , O2 for You
White rabbit's foot fern is a fun variety that has dark green, divided leaves with fuzzy gray stems that look like cute little rabbit's feet.Exotic Angel , O2 for You