How to Grow Nephrolepis - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Fern Category   /   2023

Nephrolepis, also known as Boston fern, is an excellent houseplant for beginner gardeners. It is easy to care for and maintain, and can prosper in a wide range of environments. Native to tropical regions, Nephrolepis prefers warm, humid conditions and bright indirect light. With proper care, this fern can grow to be quite large, making it a beautiful addition to any home.

How to Grow Nephrolepis - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Nephrolepis plant? known as the Boston fern, Nephrolepis exaltata is an easy-to-grow houseplant that will prosper in a wide range of indoor conditions. It is a popular plant for both home and office settings. Nephrolepis exaltata is an evergreen fern that can grow to six feet in height. It has long, lance-shaped leaves that are deep green in color. The Boston fern is known for its ability to thrive in both low-light and high-light conditions. It is an ideal plant for those who are new to fern care. With proper care, the Boston fern will thrive for many years.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Because Nephrolepis is a genus of 40-200 species of ferns, they come in a wide range of sizes. The average Nephrolepis plant is usually 46-50 cm in height, but some specimens have been known to grow up to 1 m or more. This makes them a versatile plant for use in gardens and homes, as they can be placed in a wide variety of locations.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Sometimes, the plant can grow about 2 feet in just one year. The plant prefers warm and humid climates and lots of sunlight. It's a fast-growing plant that can add greenery to any space.

Nephrolepis Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Fern
Family Davalliaceae
Origin The tropical forests of Southeast Asia

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The Nephrolepis plant is a long-lived plant, with many specimens known to be over 100 years old. The plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and is commonly found in humid habitats. The plant is an evergreen, meaning it will retain its leaves throughout the year. The leaves of the Nephrolepis plant are long and thin, and are arranged in a fern-like pattern. The plant produces small, white flowers which are pollinated by insects. The flowers give way to small, brown fruits which contain the plant's seeds.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? While nephrolepis prefers warm weather, it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. In the summer, the ideal temperature is between 64.4 and 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the humidity is high, the plant can tolerate higher temperatures. In the winter, the ideal temperature is between 57.2 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.


What about the humidity? Because this plant come from hot and humid tropical rain forest. So that plant need high humidity to grow well, at least 60%. The pot should be placed in a tray with kermazite or with wet peat or sprayed daily with warm and soft water. And it's important to keep the humidity high when the temperature is above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, keep the plant away from radiators. In summer it is necessary to ventilate the room.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Sometimes, indoor plants can get a little too leggy and sparse for their own good. Take, for example, the Boston fern, or Nephrolepis exaltata. A Boston fern will do its best with bright, filtered light, but can also tolerate lower light levels. The key is to keep the fern out of direct sunlight, which will scorch its leaves. An east- or north-facing window is ideal, but the fern can also grow well under artificial lighting.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Nephrolepis? Common ly called the Boston fern, the Nephrolepis exaltata is an air-purifying houseplant that does best in humid environments with indirect sunlight and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. The plant is native to tropical regions and can grow up to 6 feet tall. To create the perfect growing environment for your Nephrolepis exaltata, mix equal parts peat, leaf earth and sand. You can also add peat moss and charcoal to the mixture. Good drainage is essential for the plant, so make sure the pot you use has a drainage hole. Place the pot in a location that receives indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Watering Time

How much I must water Nephrolepis? When growing Nephrolepis indoors, the potting mix should be kept moist at all times. However, it's important not to overwater the plant as this can lead to root rot. The plant should be watered 2-3 times a week in summer and at least once a week in winter. It's a good idea to place the pot in a water tray filled with pebbles to help increase humidity around the plant.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Because this plant is a fast grower, it's important to fertilize it regularly. During growth, every 2 weeks, feed twice diluted with fertilizer. I use a 20-20-20 fertilizer. You can find this at your local gardening center.


How to reproduce Nephrolepis? The nephrolepis plant can reproduce through spores or by division of the bush. To reproduce through spores, the plant must first produce disputes. These disputes must be dried and then placed on a surface of wet peat. The container should be placed in low light conditions and monitored for the appearance of moss or leaves. When the plant reaches about 5 cm in height, it can be transplanted.


Why Nephrolepis won't bloom? While ferns don't typically bloom in the way that other plants do, they can still produce spores. These spores are produced on the underside of the fern fronds and are released when the fronds die back. The spores then travel on the wind until they land in a suitable location and start to grow.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Nephrolepis? Although this fern is unpretentious, and it can grow in the same pot for many years, it is good to periodically handle it transplant. Every year in April-May, young plants – in a shallow pot, old – in a more spacious dishes. The new pot should be filled with a mixture of peat and sand in a ratio of 2: 1.

Caring The Nephrolepis

How to care the plant? Because it's a tropical plant, it does best in bright, indirect sunlight. It also needs consistently moist soil—but not soggy. You can tell if the plant needs water if the leaves start to droop. If the pot doesn't have drainage holes, be extra careful not to overwater. The plant is also susceptible to mealybugs, which are tiny white insects that will cover the leaves and stems of the plant. If you see them, you can try to remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Nephrolepis plant? The reason for the problems - in the wrong care. Shocked by scutes, spider mite, aphids, whitefly. However, pests appear very rarely. When there is a lack of moisture in the soil and air, the leaves or tips of leaves dry, from cold air or draft, and when watering with cold water they curl and fall off. When the air is dry, the bases of the leaves turn yellow and die, the tips of the leaves can dry, for the same reason the leaves can be covered with brown spots. Sometimes, in dry air and with insufficient watering, the leaves become brittle and fall off. With excessive watering, the fern turns yellow and resets the segments. From bright sun, leaf burns are possible. If the plant becomes pale and does not grow, this indicates a lack of nutrients or a small pot volume and the need for a transplant. Leaves can become faded and lethargic also from excessive lighting.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Nephrolepis poisonous? Eventually, the fronds will turn brown and die. These plants are not very drought tolerant and will go dormant if they do not have enough water. The Nephrolepis plant is a tropical plant that is known for its large, frond-like leaves. The plant is native to South America, but can be found in many tropical climates around the world. The plant can grow up to six feet tall and has a woody stem. The leaves of the plant are dark green and can grow up to two feet long. The plant produces small, white flowers that bloom in the spring. The Nephrolepis plant is toxic to humans and animals if ingested. The plant contains a chemical called nephrotoxin, which can cause kidney damage. If the plant is ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, the plant can cause kidney failure. The plant is also a skin irritant and can cause allergic reactions in some people.