Ferns grow all over the world and belong to different plant families. They are one of a group of about 12,000 species. What ties them together is their method of reproduction through tiny dustlike spores. Most ferns grow in moist, humid and shady environments.
Nephrolepis Exaltata or Boston Fern
The Boston fern is a popular fern for hanging baskets because it forms dense clumps of divided, arching fronds. This species spreads by sending out running stems across the surface of the soil, creating new plantlets. Keep soil permanently moist and plant in bright but indirect sunlight. Direct sun will burn the fern fronds.
Pellaea Rotundifolia or Button Fern
A native of New Zealand and Australia, the button fern has thick, almost round leaflets. It makes a good underplant for containers and in garden beds because it grows low to the soil. Though it is native to dryer regions than most ferns, do not allow the plant to dry out at the roots. Water frequently and plant or place in indirect sunlight.
Asplenium Nidis or Bird's Nest Fern
The bird's nest fern gets its name from the open rosette formed by its shiny leaves. The fern also grows on tree branches. The fronds are entire rather than divided like other ferns. Keep humidity high and soil moist for this fern and plant in indirect sunlight or shade.