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Types of Indoor Ferns- Top Varieties You Can Grow Indoors

Types of Indoor Ferns

Ferns were popular in the Victorian era and garnered the name Pteridomania, which included gathering ferns or utilizing them in pottery/textiles. Slavic traditions incorporated this plant as anyone who views this rare flower as rich and happy for life. Finnish people say those who hold a fern seed on a midsummer night can move invisibly to find treasure.

In the United States, they ward off evil spirits when thrown into burning coals.

Today, ferns purify the air, remove formaldehyde/xylene, and improve sleep quality. They may help relieve headaches as well. An indoor fern is a versatile plant that can grow in both very small and large spaces.

Techniques To Successfully Grow Ferns

Some ferns are extremely low maintenance, while others are more finicky in terms of growing them. Choose a fern that will benefit your lifestyle and consider the following tips:

  • Ferns are content receiving indirect light from north-facing windows. In the summer, you can place them in the eastern light as well.
  • Avoid placing them in west or southern-facing windows unless they can handle the heat. The exposure will be too hot for them.
  • Most ferns come from tropical areas. The humidity is about 70% or more in these areas. Most homes are drier in the winter when heat is continually running, and you run the risk of the plant becoming dry. You can determine if the air is too dry when the tips of the leaves turn brown.
  • To increase moisture, add a layer of pebbles and a bit of water to a tray and put the fern plant on top. Avoid letting the plant touch the water as it may suffer root rot.
  • Misting the fern is a great alternative to watering it. To mist, it, use room temperature water. Mist around the plant. Do not mist the foliage as it can become diseased.
  • Group other plants and fern together to raise the humidity. You can also put the plant near the kitchen sink or the bathroom for added moisture.
  • Avoid letting an indoor fern house plant get soggy. Water them until it drains out of the bottom and dump excess water.
  • Provide it with good air circulation.

Types of Ferns to Grow Indoors

These fern species make great additions to your living space. Ferns are generally non-toxic to pets and children, but there are a few that cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed. These houseplant ferns are in order of difficulty, and each lists whether they are toxic to animals and children.

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Staghorn Fern

Difficulty Level: Easy

Toxicity: None

A staghorn fern is very interesting looking as it looks like a bit of a woven plant. They are great because they don’t require soil. Attach them to wood pieces, hang them on the wall, or put them into a planter to spruce up your décor.

Since you don’t have to be preoccupied with soil, they are the ideal plant for beginners. Soil is one less thing to be concerned about when it comes to caring for the plant indoors. The leaves are dark green which adds variety to a light space and grows quickly, so you will see results soon.

Watering the plant is easy as you only have to submerge the plant in the water a few times, allow it to dry, then put it back in place. It requires brighter light, so this should factor into its placement within the home.

Lemon Butter Fern

Difficulty Level: Easy

Toxicity: None

The Lemon Butter or Lemon Button Fern is a beginner plant. It receives its name from the lemony aroma of the plant and its button leaves. They thrive in shaded, cool areas.

They are very tiny as they only grow to 30 cm. It fits in the smallest of locations.

The Lemon Butter Fern needs quite a bit of humidity. Placing it in direct sunlight will dry it out. Never allow the soil to dry out completely. It does need to be frequently watered. Feel free to soak the soil as they adore moisture.

This fern is “drought tolerant”, meaning that it won’t die if you forget to water it. Since it is small, it is a low-commitment plant.

Silver Brake

Difficulty Level: Easy

Toxicity: None

This low-maintenance plant contains silvery stripes on its leaves. They grow up to two feet tall and are wide, so you can place the growing ferns in hanging baskets or pots.

Silver Brake Ferns like daytime temperatures between 68-72° F and a drop of 50-55° F at nighttime.

Boston Fern

Difficulty Level: Easy, but moderate maintenance

Toxicity: None

A Boston Fern references different types of ferns and is a generalized name for the following group:

  • Orlando Fern
  • Florida Ruffle Boston Fern
  • Delilah Boston Fern
  • Compact Boston Fern

The Boston Fern is popular due to their compact size and how easy they are to maintain. They naturally clean the air. Boston Ferns can significantly reduce the toxins and pollutants in the home.

Some of them contain drooping leaves, so placing these ferns indoors in a hanging basket permits them to grow naturally. You will receive the beautiful, full effect of the plant. Hanging

them by windows will provide this plant the sunlight that it requires to grow.

This fern species requires misting, but if you forget, it’s not a big deal. Its leaves will dry and drop before the plant completely dies. To avoid this, place them away from drafts, and water them.

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In addition, this house plant is one of the longest living ferns available. As long as it is properly cared for, it can last for years.

Holly Fern

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Toxicity: Toxic to dogs (not cats) and children

The Holly Fern has shiny, stiff, dark green leaves in the shape of holly. It is a tall plant making it perfect for rooms with high ceilings or with space to fill.

They do well in climates that are drier and colder. It requires direct sunlight to place it by a large window, skylight, or in a family room.

Rabbit’s Foot Fern

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Toxicity: None

A Rabbit’s Foot Fern grows very slowly. They are delicate, with the fern appearing like a combination of Bird’s Nest Fern and Lemon Button Fern.

The name rabbit’s foot is a reference to the plant’s stems. They creep down into the bottom and grow into what looks like a rabbit’s foot. The stems can become visible as they will grow on the outside of the container or pot, adding to the interest.

They thrive in hanging baskets and need a great deal of sun- but not direct sun. It is best to place it close to a window that receives light but not direct sunbeams.

The Rabbit’s Foot Fern needs frequent watering, but avoid oversaturating its soil. Periodically touch the soil to examine it for slight moisture. Only water it when it feels dry.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Difficulty Level: Moderate (requires right conditions, but hardy if you forget)

Toxicity: None

Difficulty Level: Moderate (requires right conditions, but hardy if you forget)

Toxicity: None

If you live in an area of lower humidity, then this plant may be easier for you to care for. Named after the leaf-like part of the fern (looks like a bird’s nest), it is a low-maintenance, easy to care for plant. It will grow to a maximum of two feet while indoors and grows slowly.

If you are absent-minded about watering your plants, this fern is very hardy. It transitions easily outdoors, and you can place it in a greenhouse where it will grow up to six feet.

Asparagus Fern

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Toxicity: None

The asparagus fern has needle-like fronds and thorns. While many people think that it belongs to the fern family, however, it doesn’t. It belongs to the asparagus genus making it completely unrelated.

The difficulty of maintaining it is medium. It can grow in direct sunlight but needs bright, filtered light sources. It can tolerate temperatures upwards of 70° F.

Water it to keep the soil moist, and you can mist the foliage to keep the fern happy and bright. Use half-strength fertilizer to feed this plant monthly.

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Frosty Ferns

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Toxicity: Toxic only to cats

Frosty Ferns have left in the shape of scales and have a frosty white coloring. They offer a wintery feel to an indoor space, and it does well when placed in a terrarium.

The difficulty in caring for it is at a medium level. The Frosty Fern thrives in bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-80°F. The soil should be consistently moist but not soggy or wet. You can feed this fern with diluted fertilizer once a week during the growing season.

Maidenhair Fern

Difficulty Level: Hard

Toxicity: None

A Maidenhair fern requires a bit more maintenance. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is beautiful, light, and delicate in appearance. However, since they are more delicate fern, owners must be gentle when caring for them.

This fern needs moist conditions, or it will wilt and die. It needs regular watering and misting to keep it alive.

In addition to controlling the amount of moisture it receives, be mindful about the type of light it receives as well. Too much sun and it will dry out. Too little sunlight and it won’t flourish. Place this fern in the indirect sun without drafts or wind. They tend to thrive in terrariums.

Kimberly Queen Fern

Difficulty Level: Hard

Toxicity: None

This fern is from Australia and is challenging to take care of. It does have beautiful leaves and provides an interesting look to any room.

This plant is difficult to care for and needs bright, indirect sun. It requires 60-75° F. Watering must be precise as it doesn’t tolerate over or under-watering. Water it regularly, but the soil needs to be dry before watering.

Fertilize the plant monthly in the growing season by using a balanced fertilizer.

Foxtail Fern

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Toxicity: None

This fern has curly and thick foliage that looks like a foxtail. It has a medium difficulty level, but maintenance is easy as long as you have the right conditions. A Foxtail fern does well in indirect light, bright light, and lightly shaded areas. Avoid temperatures lower than 75°F.

It requires watering once a week, and you should let the top two inches of soil dry between watering. Fertilize this fern once monthly standard fertilizer.

While there are many types of ferns available, you need to find one that benefits your lifestyle and experience level. Some require little maintenance and look amazing. Meanwhile, other ferns are still amazing, but require high maintenance for them to survive.

The appearance of the fern ranges from traditional to unique. It all depends on your individual taste.