Plant Care Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern

4.1 out of 5 (28 experiences)

Erect Sword Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Erect Sword Fern has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily

About Erect Sword Fern

The erect sword fern is native to the Hawaiian Islands where it is known as kupukupu, okupukupu or ni'ani'au. It has been introduced to several habitats where it has become an invasive species, such as New Zealand and Florida. To protect your local ecosystems (especially if you live in a warm, tropical climate) we suggest growing this plant only indoors. 🪴

Taxonomy

Nephrolepis cordifolia
Nephrolepis
Nephrolepidaceae
Polypodiales

Also known as

Duffy Fern, Fishbone Fern, Herringbone Fern, Ladder Fern and Lemon Button Fern

How to care for Erect Sword Fern

💦 Water

How often to water your Erect Sword Fern

Water needs for Erect Sword Fern
0.5 cups
every 7

Erect Sword Fern needs 0.5 cups of water every 7 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Erect Sword Fern

Water 0.5 cups every
7

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Erect Sword Fern in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Erect Sword Fern: 6ft from a window
6ft or less from
a window

Erect Sword Fern can tolerate being far from a window and light source.

Place it less than 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Erect Sword Fern in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Erect Sword Fern

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Erect Sword Fern: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Erect Sword Fern after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #ErectSwordFern
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Erect Sword Fern is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Erect Sword Fern →

Common Erect Sword Fern Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Erect Sword Fern is sensitive to dry soil and should be watered frequently. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Erect Sword Fern Water Frequency →

Erect Sword Fern Root Rot →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Erect Sword Fern can tolerate being far from a window and light source. Place it less than 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Erect Sword Fern Light Requirements →

Erect Sword Fern Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Erect Sword Fern is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.


💨 Humidity

Erect Sword Fern prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Erect Sword Fern Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Erect Sword Fern does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Erect Sword Fern →

When and How to Successfully Repot Erect Sword Fern →


💩 Fertilizer

Erect Sword Fern should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Erect Sword Fern →


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Erect Sword Fern to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.


🌎 Native Region

Erect Sword Fern is native to Worldwide.


🌸 Flowers

Erect Sword Fern does not flower.


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Erect Sword Fern is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.

How and When to Prune Erect Sword Fern →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Erect Sword Fern can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Erect Sword Fern Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Erect Sword Fern can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant retiring old leaves.

If it seems like there’s a problem, the most likely cause of yellow leaves in Erect Sword Fern is underwatering. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Yellow leaves can less often be caused by overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Give your plant a good drink and it should perk back up and download Greg to make sure your plant never goes thirsty again!


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern

Erect Sword Fern


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 7 days

Placement

< 6ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Erect Sword Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 13
Erect Sword Fern has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 11
Erect Sword Fern has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 7
Erect Sword Fern has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 4
Erect Sword Fern has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 3
Erect Sword Fern has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 1
@LeahR05 avatar
@@LeahR05
leaf-1 7 Plants
xp 321 XP
01/03/2022

i find it hard to keep alive, but watering it a little more often than the app suggests seems to do the trick

Browns easily Browns easily
@mossycabbages avatar
@@mossycabbages
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 3,455 XP
12/28/2021

Picky with humidity and doesn’t like tap water. Does grow quickly and with gorgeous bright green growth. I keep mine at ~85% humidity with grow lights and spagnum moss covering the soil for extra moisture

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@hkpierson avatar
@@hkpierson
leaf-1 25 Plants
xp 1,323 XP
globe Brattleboro, VT
11/11/2021

Unless you’re in a warm, humid climate, this plant does best in an enclosed terrarium.

Browns easily Browns easily
@cgggreen avatar
@@cgggreen
leaf-1 17 Plants
xp 514 XP
11/07/2021

It’s really moody and gets mad when it gets too dry

Browns easily Browns easily
@Cheribuno avatar
@@Cheribuno
leaf-1 53 Plants
xp 1,935 XP
globe Richmond, Victoria
09/10/2021

The easiest deen I have to look after. They are hardy, tolerant and not that fussy

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Hope avatar
@Hope
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 95 XP
globe Bristol, TN
08/08/2021

It is beautiful and likes low light. Perfect inside plant.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@JoyKling avatar
@@JoyKling
leaf-1 21 Plants
xp 3,516 XP
07/25/2021

Drinks water like a fish! Self-watering planters are a must. Lots of new growth after transplanting to SWF

Fast grower Fast grower

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