Plant Care Boston Fern

Boston Fern

4.2 out of 5 (249 experiences)

Boston Fern has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves
Boston Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor

Also known as

Sword Fern, Green Fantasy Fern, Fluffy Ruffle Fern and Boston Fern 'Fluffy Ruffles Fern'


Nephrolepis exaltata

How to care for Boston Fern


How often to water your Boston Fern

Water needs for Boston Fern
0.5 cups
every 7

Boston Fern needs 0.5 cups of water every 7 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot located in Columbia, South Carolina.

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 Boston Fern

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Plant care guide for Boston Fern in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

38% Low

Finding light for Boston Fern in your home

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

Boston 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 💪.

We wouldn’t recommend testing its limits during this time of reduced sunlight intensity in Columbia, South Carolina ⛅.


How to fertilize Boston Fern

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Boston 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 Boston Fern after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

When to repot Boston Fern

Nutrient needs for plant Boston Fern in Columbia, South Carolina

Is this a good time of year to repot? No ⏳

February 1st, 2023

The growing potential in Columbia is low 📉.

Repotting in late fall or winter when the day lengths are shorter can be very stressful for a plant and cause it to go into shock.

It's best to repo…

Read more

Difficulty Level

Boston 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!

Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Native Region
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Yellow Leaves

Care Summary for Boston Fern

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 7 days


< 6ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

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

What other plant parents say

Boston Fern has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 96
Boston Fern has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 94
Boston Fern has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 90
Boston Fern has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 84
Boston Fern has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 19
Boston Fern has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 9
Boston Fern has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 6
Denise avatar
leaf-1 23 Plants
xp 1,696 XP
globe New York

Needs a very humid environment like a steamy bathroom or rainy / humid environment like the northwest or the southeast. Mine did not survive.😢

Browns easily Browns easily
Silverlinings avatar
leaf-1 63 Plants
xp 2,684 XP
globe Angus, Ontario

This plant was a pain in my butt at first but now Im beginning to love her but I’m not fully convinced lmao she was so bushy when I bought her and within a week or so she got dramatic and began crisping up, I just couldn’t keep her alive! I trimmed off her dead leaves and was left with maybe 4 fair sized leaves😅 now she’s sprouting leaves like nuts so keeping her soil drowned with water is working better than having good humidity and following watering recommendations😮‍💨

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Lylith avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 121 XP
globe Norwich, England

They like dark spots

Survivor Survivor
Prograypine avatar
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 897 XP

Did beautifully on my porch last summer. I brought it inside for the winter.

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Fast grower Fast grower
Mom123 avatar
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 376 XP
globe Salisbury, MD

Be sure to keep watered. I’m trying to kill mine by not watering. Lol.

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Nubiangoddess avatar
leaf-1 71 Plants
xp 4,481 XP
globe Los Angeles, CA

It’s my favorite plant but it take a lot to keep this fern alive I’m going to buy a new one and try again very hard plant to car for need humidity

Voidbugz avatar
leaf-1 60 Plants
xp 6,242 XP
globe Minneapolis, MN

Don’t give up on your ferns! I’m slowly nursing mine back to health after grossly under watering it, but it’s a trooper and is already putting out little baby fernlets!

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Browns easily Browns easily
Ivy avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 108 XP

Rebounded and re-greened up nicely after going about a quarter brown due to failure to water

Survivor Survivor
Biddlesbabe avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 33 XP
globe Selah, WA

Bigleef Smalls has been a great addition to our family. I talk to him everyday. It’s strange, but it seems that he perks up when I talk to him. He gets a shower when it’s time for his feeding. He seems to enjoy that quite a bit. I really enjoy having him in my home.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Ottomonty avatar
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 438 XP

Smells like shit

Pest magnet Pest magnet
Plantygoddess avatar
leaf-1 109 Plants
xp 9,648 XP
globe Woolwich Township, NJ

So I put this plant outside at least a month ago to basically die - no watering and no care. Well it survived and I guess is okay with my northern exposure windows and balcony so I brought it inside watered and placed at my patio window for the rest of this autumn/winter season. I’m told ferns love bright maybe even direct sunlight but this Boston wants to live and is a trooper. Now let’s see if I can get some decent growth.

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Lvl500 avatar
leaf-1 29 Plants
xp 5,551 XP

I have had this plant for two years. It is easy to care for. I have mine positioned in a south facing window. The leaves will brown from time to time, I tend to trim them off. It’s an attractive plant, I like how the fronds uncurl as they grow into new leaves.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Emzo avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 202 XP

love this plant ! this was my first ever plant, and it’s pretty easy to take care of

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Millie avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 46 XP
globe Tarriaro, New South Wales

They love filtered light!

Browns easily Browns easily
Fast grower Fast grower
Afwreck avatar
leaf-1 10 Plants
xp 502 XP

I’ve had this for years. It has always done amazing but a recent move has effected its growth. 😞

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Nubiangoddess avatar
leaf-1 71 Plants
xp 4,481 XP
globe Los Angeles, CA

I don’t like when the plant feels dry I’m working on fixing that problem but other than that it’s beautiful and lush

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Marthia avatar
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 77 XP
globe St. Louis, MO

Dries out quickly and under leaves are browning

Browns easily Browns easily
Karen avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 120 XP
globe Byron Center, MI

Beautiful plants

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Untilsaturn avatar
leaf-1 14 Plants
xp 554 XP
globe Independence, MO

Ive had this plant for like three years. ive almost killed it a dozen times. it always comes back. Boston ferns are AMAZING!

Survivor Survivor
Wybie avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 222 XP
globe Sheffield, England

it’s pretty big so you will need to trim it frequently if you want it small

Fast grower Fast grower

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