How to care for a Nephrolepis (Boston Fern)

The Nephrolepis or Fern as commonly called is the ultimate lush green plant friend. There are in total about 30 different types of Ferns but this guy is commonly referred to as the Boston Fern. Did you know that its fronds can reach lengths of up to 250cm! WOW!

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  • Frequent
  • Once every three years
  • Bright but no direct sunlight
  • Non-toxic
  • Once a month in summer

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  • The fern is originally from New Zealand and Southeast Asia, but its name comes from the Greek. 'Nephros' which means kidney, and 'lepis' which stands for scale. Lol wut... Yeah we know. The Greeks meant that kidney-shaped leaves of the fern cover the plant like scales. It takes some imagination to see it, but you have to agree it's a nice story!
  • Yes! This is a great air purifier and therefore a very healthy roommate!
  • Nope! The Nephrolepis is not known to be toxic to cats or dogs.
  • The Nephrolepis does like a sip. It's a fairly thirsty plant, so make sure you water it often enough. The leaves provide a tell tale sign of too much or too little water. Try to water on the side and not in the middle, otherwise the plant's heart will go bald, ugh! As always, make sure that you do not leave a layer of water at the bottom of the pot, as its roots cannot handle this very well. What it does like is to be sprayed with water every now and then, for more humidity. Who doesn't like a cool mist to cool down, right?
  • Light and bright please! The Nephrolepis likes a light location but not directly in the sun. You will notice that super bright direct sunlight will burn the leaves very quickly, especially in summer. No window sills for this guy but also make sure not to place the Nephrolepis in a very shady spot either. Definitely an attention seeker this plant.
  • Some extra plant food on a monthly basis in the summer months puts the fun in fern!
  • Since the fern is growing slowly, you don't have to repot it very often; once every two to three years should be enough. Try to repot it in the spring or summer so that the fern has enough energy to survive the move.
  • Since the majority of Nephrolepis species have a lot of leaves, some may turn brown or ugly. It's best to cut these leaves as close as possible to the trunk so that the fern can grow new ones. If you find yours growing too large, you can cut the longest leaves to the point where you want; don't worry, they'll sprout again. But try to do this in the spring or summer to allow it some recovery time.
  • Not very susceptible to diseases; therefore, it/you shouldn't have any problems. If you notice insects or other pests in your fern, try to combat them as quickly as possible.

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