Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis) is an evergreen, clump-forming fern. It is one of the easiest of the ferns to grow indoors. It has graceful, arching, green fronds with a ruffled appearance. The fronds are 20-98 inch long and 2-6 inch broad, with alternate pinnae, each pinna being 1-3 inch long. The pinnate vein pattern is also visible on these highly compound leaves. The edges appear slightly serrate. Boston Fern is truly outstanding for absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. It is therefore ideal for the office environment where it helps to absorb radioactivity and static energy created by digital equipment and computers. It is considered to be non-toxic to pets.
Scientific Name: Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis
Common Names: Boston Fern, Sword fern.
How to grow and maintain Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis):
It thrives best in moderate, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight and deep shade.
It grows well in humus rich soil. Use a peat-based potting mix, 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite is one mixture that will be fine. A peat-based mixture with organic material is also good.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. You can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.
It thrives well in room temperatures between 65 degrees Fahrenheit – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 18 degrees Celsius – 24 degrees Celsius are ideal, and no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).
During spring and summer, fertilize weekly or biweekly with balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Deformed leaves with brown or yellow spots or edges are a sign of too much fertilizer.
Re-pot the Nephrolepis exaltata Green Lady once every 2 years in the spring, moving the plant into a pot only one size larger.
Pickoff yellowed leaves and older fronds as desired. You may also trim off the hair-like projecting stems. Keep to desired height and shape with light pruning or clipping at any time.
It can be propagated by division of the rooted runners. Divide older plants every 3 – 5 years. Use a sharp knife and slice the rootball in half or quarters. Replant each piece. Trim any damaged fronds. The best time to do this is April through July.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. They are susceptible to attacks by scales, spider mites, and mealy bugs.