You can easily grow Boston ferns at home because they are Hardy plants. Boston ferns belong to the Nephrolepis genus. The other name for the Boston fern is sword fern as it has sword-shaped blue-green fronds. The beautiful and tiny leaflets are erect and arc when they grow.
How To Propagate Boston Ferns?
Boston ferns are a wonderful addition to any place. The interesting thing about ferns is that they don’t need much light. The foliage remains evergreen and enhances the beauty of your living room or garden.
As this plant is a slow grower, you should plant it in the spring or fall. It is not difficult to propagate Boston ferns. There are different ways of propagating Boston fern.
You can use runners or shoots or divide the houseplant. You can easily propagate Boston fern by following essential steps.
Boston Fern Propagation By Dividing
- Take a large parent Boston fern plant.
- Remove the plant from the pot.
- Now you need a pair of forks to divide the root ball in half. You can also use a sharp knife for this purpose.
- Now divide the root ball into quarters and continue splitting.
- When you’re done then repot the plants in separate pots.
- Now water the plant generously to settle in the new environment.
- Boston plants need direct sunlight so make sure you choose the location for the pot where they get filter or indirect light.
Propagating Boston Fern By Fern Runners
- The first step is removing the runner from the base of the Boston fern plant you can use a shot knife or a for this purpose you should not worry about the roots as with time the new routes will be developed from that part venue you buddy it in the soil
- Now fill the pot with the high-quality potting mix and plant the Boston fern shoots.
- Make sure the pot you are using must have drainage holes at the bottom. This is essential for the healthier growth of your plant.
- Plant the shoots deep enough as it will provide proper support to your plant. It will remain upright.
- You should cover the plant with a plastic bag and keep the pot in bright and indirect sunlight.
- When you see the shoots are showing the sign of new growth then you can remove the back and keep it damp.
Boston Fern Varieties
There are many varieties found and you can choose one of them.
1- Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Compacta
If you are looking for a shorter variety then this is the best option for you. This is a more compact and upright version.
2- Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Florida Ruffle’
This is our medium size what I did and it has feathery ruffled fronds that look fabulous.
3- Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Golden Boston’
This variety has yellow-green fronds that look very different.
4- Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Rita’s Gold’
This is a compact variety with chartreuse fronds. This is good for growing hanging baskets.
5- Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Duffy’:
The texture of fronds of this variety is very fine and feathery. If you are looking for a small and dense variety of Boston ferns then choose this one.
How To Get Large Boston Ferns?
If you want to grow large Boston ferns then little maintenance will help you.
1- Repot The Fern Into A Large Container Or Planter
In this way, you are planting space to spread its roots. First, you should shake off the soil and then trim back the roots. After a few days, the fern will recover from the stress of root pruning with your care.
There is no need for much fertilizer for ferns. When you plant them then apply and after 3 months they need the next application. You can use spike fertilizer or slow-release granular fertilizer, both work great for your Boston fern plants.
Water is a very important factor in the growth of any plant. It is the key to keeping the plant alive. You should maintain the frequency of the water for the Boston fern plants. When you see the soil is dry then water your plants. You can use your finger to check the moisture level of the soil.
You should water in the center of the container or pot, as well as all around the sides. Water your plants slowly and avoid watering in one place so you will get better results.
Rain brings a glow to the plants. The pH of the rainwater is lower than tap water and gives your fern plants a bright green color. On hot days, You should increase the frequency of the water because plants need more water in summer due to the heat of the sun.
If Boston ferns face the problem of shortage of water then the leaves will start turning brown which is not a good sign for the health of your fern plants.
4- Cut Off Any Brown Frond
Whenever you see the brown fronds on your Boston fern plants then you should cut off them at the base. This will help to clean the plant and it will become more productive.
5- Choose The Right Spot
You should be very careful when you choose the location for your booster front plant. As you know sunlight is very important for the growth of any plant but your Boston fern plant will grow more vigorously when it receives indirect or filtered sunlight.
6- Rotate Occasionally
If you are growing your Boston fern plants in the planter or container then you should rotate them for even growth. It is recommended that you should rotate them before watering them. Because after watering the planter or container becomes heavier and it will be difficult to lift.
The suitable temperature for growing Boston ferns is between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are living in a cold climate and the outdoor temperature of your area falls 55 degrees Fahrenheit then you should grow ferns in pots or containers and keep them indoors.
For indoor Boston fern, it is suggested that you should not put them near the vent as It can cause fluctuation in the temperature which can affect the health of the plant.
Humidity plays a very important role in the development of Boston ferns. You can maintain a humid atmosphere for your Boston ferns by placing pebbles in a drip tray and placing the pot on this tray.
Now fill the tray with water and make sure the water level never reaches the bottom of the tray. In case, water line reaches the bottom of the tray then the soil will start absorbing water from the tray and it will cause root rot.
If you keep the right water level in the tray then it will create a humid environment for your Boston fern plants. The hygrometer is an instrument that helps you to maintain the humidity level in your home.
Boston ferns like to grow in loamy, light, and airy soil. If you want to get the best results then you can add amendments to your soil mix. This will make you rich in all the basic nutrients and your plant will flourish.
By adding peat moss and perlite, you can improve the quality of the soil. This will help to improve the airflow and drainage in the soil. But when you are using soil amendments then you should maintain a balance and never use too much peat moss.
Pests And Diseases
Boston fern is rarely affected by pests and diseases. The following are the reasons for spreading diseases and encouraging pests.
1- Lack Of Airflow
The common reason for diseases is not getting fresh air to breathe between the fronds. Sufficient airflow is very important and in that case when the condition is damp then it will encourage the growth of pathogens such as white powdery mildew.
Overwatering can become the reason for the root rot and destroy your fern plant. When you see the fronts are getting yellow then it is a clear symptom of root rot.
This will become the reason for the death of your plant. According to the climatic condition of your area, you should adjust the watering, should you?
Like overwatering, underwatering can become the reason for encouraging the growth of pests such as spider mites. When the soil gets dry for a long time then you will see small webs that show the infestation of spider mites.