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Top 7 Ferns for the Home

4 min read | Jan 28, 2016 | Plants 

From frilly and delicate to thick and bold, there are a wide variety of ferns that are suitable for use as houseplants.  Many ferns require little care, can grow in low light conditions and add fantastic visual interest to a room.  Consistent moisture and indirect light is the key to success for growing most ferns indoors.  Choose one of these 7 top fern varieties for low maintenance and high style in the home:

7.  Maiden Hair Fern
Maiden Hair Fern

The delicate Maiden Hair Fern thrives in humid conditions, so an occasional light mist with a water bottle is recommended. It’s dainty nature will soften the edges of a shelf or table.  This fern can grow 12” – 20” tall by 12” – 36” wide.  The Maiden Hair is slow growing and can tolerate very low – medium light.  Keep this fern moist and do not let dry out between waterings for best results.

6.  Rabbit’s Foot Fern

rabbits foot fern

rabbit foot foot

The Rabbit’s Foot Fern gets its name form the unique, furry rhizomes that creep around the base of the plant just above soil level.  When planting, it’s important to remember to keep the rhizomes above the soil to prevent rot.  This fern prefers constant moisture but over watering may result in yellowing of fronds or root rot.  Rabbit’s Foot Ferns only mature to about 18″ in height but the rhizomes will continue to grow over the sides of the container.  The Rabbit’s Foot rhizomes can be easily propagated in the spring and summer  by dividing each with roots and stems attached and potting in moist potting mix.

5.  Plumosa Fern

plumosa fern

This easy to care for houseplant is a cousin of the better known asparagus fern. Unlike many other houseplant ferns, the Plumosa prefers to dry out between waterings and can tolerate higher light conditions.  This fern is incredibly adaptable to home environments and it’s delicate greenery is the perfect addition to fresh arrangements.  The Plumosa Fern tends to grow slightly more wide than tall maturing on average to 18″ tall by 24″ wide.

4.  Bear Claw Fern

bear claw fern

Another fern with feet!  Like the Rabbit’s Foot Fern, the Bear Claw (aka Bear Paw) is known for it’s furry rhizomes that are slightly more rounded and compact.  This fern prefers constant moisture but can be sensitive to over watering.  It’s thick, glossy fronds can grow up to 24-36″ in height and width.  The furry rhizomes become more prominent on older plants.  This is a great plant to help spark a child’s interest in gardening!

3.  Pteris or Brake Ferns

silver lace fern

Pteris, or Brake Ferns, come in many different shapes and colors but the most popular are the whispy, variegated varieties.  These ferns are easy to grow and very forgiving.  When provided with constant moisture and bright, indirect light, Brake Ferns can grow to 12-18″ inches tall and 24″ wide.  The green and white variegated foliage provide the perfect contrast to brighten a dark room.

2.  Bird’s Nest Fern

Birds nest fern

A Bird’s Nest Fern is one of the easiest ferns to grow indoors.  The stemless, simple, apple-green leaves form a rosette with an open center, resembling a bird’s nest.   Indoors, Bird’s Nest Ferns can grow to at least 24” tall when placed in medium light.  These ferns prefer moist, not saturated, soil so mist regularly or place on pebble tray.

1. Staghorn Fern

staghorn mount

staghorn fern

The versatility of the Staghorn Fern has contributed to it’s recent surge in popularity.  The Staghorn is a truly remarkable epiphytic fern whose fronds resemble the antlers of an elk.  In a natural environment, epiphytic plants attach themselves to other plants and do not require soil to root.  For that reason, Staghorn ferns are the perfect addition to a gallery wall when mounted on cork or wood where air is allowed to circulate around the plant.  To water, completely submerge the plant in a sink or bathtub for a few moments, then allow to drain fully before re-hanging.

Be sure to check out our Feeling Ferny Pinterest page for great ideas on how to style a fern in your home!

Happy Fern Finding,

Heather Rollins