How Do I Take Care of a Boston Fern?


The Boston fern has branches of small green pointed leaves while its bushy habit makes it perfect for a hanging basket. As the plant grows, the branches arch outwards and hang downwards. The plant is a hybrid and does well indoors with the correct care. The Boston fern can be used as an air purifier as it cleans trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air.

Step 1

Plant the Boston fern is a rich soil that drains well, but can retain moisture. African violet potting soil is a good mix for the fern or you can make your own with 1 part course sand, 1 part peat, 1 part garden soil and two parts humus. The container must have a drainage hole in the bottom.

Step 2

Place the plant in a location with indirect sunlight, but it should be a bright location. The temperature should be between 50 and 75 degrees F. The Boston fern likes a medium amount of humidity, which can be given by using a drainage tray on the bottom of a container with gravel in the bottom so that any excess water can drain from the container and produce the humidity around the plant.

Step 3

Water the plant and allow the soil to dry until just damp before watering again. To test the soil for dampness, place your finger in the soil about 1 inch to see if the soil is wet, dry or damp.

Step 4

Fertilize the Boston fern once a week with a houseplant fertilizer of 10-10-10 (nitrogen, phosphates, potassium) diluted by half of the recommendation on the package. If the package calls for 1 tbsp. to 1 cup of water, use 1/2 tbsp. to 1 cup of water.

Step 5

Keep the plant out of drafts and use a misting bottle with warm water to spray the leaves if the days are hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Misting bottle
  • Potting soil
  • Drainage tray
  • Gravel


  • Plant Boston Fern
Keywords: Boston fern care, fern watering schedule, fern feeding

About this Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. Gardapee studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.