How to Care for Ferns (Indoor and Outdoor)

Do you know that ferns have ten thousand different species? Yes, they have. But the caring process for each of them is more or less the same.

ways on how to care ferns indoor and outdoor

Ferns are mainly native to the tropical and sub-tropical rain forests so clearly they do not need direct sunlight to thrive properly.

Most fern species love the comparatively darker area to grow but the Boston species, which is one of the most sought-after species of ferns, needs a brighter area to flourish. Find out more about the different types of ferns along with their growth habits, and care requirements.

Ferns are the only species which can be placed both indoor and outdoor. The light and airy ferns are suitable for keeping near your bed or in the living room and the bushy ones are the perfect fit for our balconies.

Ways on How to Take Care of Ferns (Indoor and Outdoor)

Here are some of the easiest ways through which you can properly take care of both outdoor and potted ferns.

1. Keeping or hanging the fern pots in the appropriate location

The first and foremost thing is placing the fern pot in an appropriate area where it gets plenty of indirect sunlight.

For indoor ferns

If you are keeping the fern pot indoor, then try to keep it near the window but not in front of it, as the sunlight will affect it badly. Place the pot aside from the window and keep the window open in the morning.

The morning breeze and indirect light are crucial for a thriving fern. In summertime close the window after 12 noon as the temperature increases afterward. And certainly, in winters keep the window open as much longer as possible.

For outdoor ferns

We mostly hang the fern pots in our balconies or put them on the edge. There they will get enough light, though be careful of keeping them out of direct sunlight.

As our balconies face most of the daily heat from the sunlight, the ferns will easily die. So make sure that the place where you are keeping the fern pots is comparatively under indirect heat.

2. Maintaining the correct temperature for the ferns

These plants do not like too high or too low temperatures. They grow preferably in a medium temperature ranging from 60° to 75°F.

For the indoor ferns

Temperature is one of the most vital factors for keeping ferns alive indoors. Kitchens and bathrooms are the perfect places to keep them. But if the temperature of your bedroom and the living room goes up, which will certainly happen in the summertime, you need to cool it down. For that, you can use your air condition or in case you do not have one you have to water them consistently.

For the outdoor ferns

The summer season becomes very rough as the indirect heat makes these plants dry very quickly. If the heat gets out of control and continuous watering also does not work then probably you must bring any potted ferns inside. Though in the evening you can put them back into their place as evening breeze will keep them fresh.

3. Humidity should be kept under control

With high moisture level in the air, ferns grow very well. You can keep the humidity level higher manually for your indoor as well as outdoor ferns.

To keep the humidity level high, double pot your fern. First, select a pot which is larger than the pot you have planted your fern.

Then cover it with moss soaked in water.

Now put the second pot into the larger pot and cover the soil with a layer of wet moss. It will lock the humidity in the pots which will help the fern to flourish well.

But do not forget to mist the moss frequently. Also, you can use a humidifier. In that case, put the humidifier near the pot.

Misting will work in an adequate amount where misting frequently may result in spotting.

4. Watering your indoor or outdoor ferns regularly

I know we are busy people but frankly speaking, the easiest way to keep your ferns fresh and lively is by keeping the soil moist properly.

Ferns generally need very little care; the only thing they need most is moisture. Regularly watering them will keep them healthy for a long time. Indoor ferns need less watering than outdoor ferns.

You just have to keep the soil moist. As ferns do not really need lots of water, never flood it, or let it stand in water. Make sure the pots have proper drainage holes.

These holes are also suitable for the roots of the ferns to grow properly. Otherwise, they will get stuffed in the little space.

So remember to make a drainage hole and moist the soil when needed.

5. Detach the dead parts from your fern

Ferns are by nature very hardy and barely get affected by any disease. For this reason, people like to plant ferns inside their house.

But in any case, if your fern gets affected by any disease, it is better to cut the deceased parts before it contaminates the whole fern.

In-house ferns get mostly affected by diseases because of improper light and air. A sick fern is also unhealthy to keep inside the home.

So if you see that the whole plant is affected then cut it from the root. There is no point in nourishing them further.

The outdoor ferns get sufficient light but still, they can get affected for various reasons. If in any case, insects started to form in your fern, then cut the portion of the plant as it is injurious to the rest of the foliage.

6. Fertilization of your ferns

Ferns are not that type of plant which needs a larger amount of fertilizing to grow and flourish. Rather they need it in a very negligible quantity.

If you have your own garden then you can make the fertilizer at home from dry leaves and branches. Then mix it with the soil of your fern.

Or, you can use liquid fertilizer bought from the store for indoor ferns in pots. Remember to use organic fertilizer as it will be safe for the plant as well as for your health.

Liquid fertilizers are very easy to use. Some fertilizers are instructed to mix with water and then spray on the plants.

You can start fertilizing after 6 months from planting the fern. And continue to fertilize it once in a month in an adequate amount as an inappropriate amount can burn the whole plant.

7. Final step involving transplanting or repotting of your fern

The best thing with ferns is you do not need to buy several seedlings of the same species. Suppose if you like the Boston fern which is my favorite, just plant one, and it will give you much more over a year.

Ferns usually grow larger and bushy in one year. So after each year, you need to replace it with a bigger pot.

This process will be hectic and the caring process will also take a longer time. So before repotting them, separate the roots carefully from the soil in the older pot.

As they grow in clumps the separation process becomes easy. Now plant them in different pots and take care of them individually.

Consider repotting at least once in a year to keep your ferns healthy.

by | Updated: November 17, 2016

  • One response to “How to Care for Ferns (Indoor and Outdoor)”

    1. says:

      There are a lot of species of tropical and subtropical ferns, but there are also a lot of ferns that are native to more temperate climates.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



    Get email updates about what's new for gardeners this season