Ferns are plants that thrive in bright or shady light conditions when planted outdoors. Some varieties such as golden pothos, heart-leaf philodendron, snake plant and Chinese evergreen are suitable for indoor planting. Hardy ferns are cold tolerant and are possible to grow outdoors year-round. Whether they're indoor or outdoors, ferns are slow-growing plants that take years to come to maturity. Proper care of the plant will ensure fern grow healthy and strong.
Plant ferns in porous, well-draining soil, says the University of Minnesota Extension. Potting soil with a large amount peat moss is recommended.
Keep fern soil moistened so the soil surface is moist to the touch but not wet, according to the University of Vermont Extension. Yellow and wilting leaves may be due to overwatering.
Mulch ferns in the spring and fall with a 2- to 3-inch layer of leaves or pine straw to retain moisture, reports the Clemson Cooperative Extension.
Spray the leaves of the fern with a water and dishwasher detergent mixture, then wipe the leaves with a clean cloth.
Apply a light, water-soluble fertilizer such as 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 once a month between April and September. Apply during the winter months if actively growing ferns indoors.