August 17, 2017

Make It Humid

Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis' - Boston fern

Janine Pineo Photo | Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’ – Boston fern

Who likes high humidity? If you are a plant, then you might be Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis,’ best known as Boston fern. This native of Florida, the West Indies and the Asian Pacific requires steady humidity to thrive, along with indirect light. In its native territory, the plant grows in swamps and humid forests, which is probably your best clue as to why it might like the same treatment in the house. Boston fern can become enormous as a houseplant, up to 5 feet in diameter, something else to keep in mind if you want one inside. It likes to be misted once or twice a week, and it is a good idea to soak the pot and its soil (which is often mainly peat moss) monthly. If the fronds turn yellow, it might be a sign that the plant is not getting enough humidity; remedies for that include setting the pot atop a pebble- and water-filled tray and the aforementioned misting. As for fertilizer, it is one of the few plants needing an occasional dose and only at certain times of the year, with winter fertilizing reduced significantly.