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Nephrolepis Exaltata (Fterikoudi)

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Family:  Nephrolepidaceae

Origin: South America, Mexico

The Size:  Height: 2-3 feet; Spread: 2-3 feet

Temperature & Humidity: Boston Ferns prefer standard house temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they are tolerant of slightly colder temperatures (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit). But don’t let it fall lower than that, or you’ll start to see problems. 

Lightning:  Nephrolepis exaltata need bright, indirect light and cannot tolerate direct sun. They are somewhat tolerant of deep shade but will not grow as well and may lose their color. Don’t overcorrect on either side of the spectrum, and you should be fine. Nephrolepis exaltata are tropical ferns that require high humidity. If not naturally humid, misting them regularly is a must. Many gardeners have found success standing the pot in a water-filled tray of pebbles to keep the moisture level high. The evaporating water helps keep the humidity levels high. 

Watering:  Boston Ferns are reliant on having a consistently moist soiling medium year-round. It needs to be kept moist but not wet. Watering them every day or two is usually sufficient, but you may need to water more often during the hot, dry summer months. Reduce the watering frequency slightly in winter, dormant plants don’t need as much water, and too much can result in root rot. 

Fertilizer: Boston Ferns require a monthly dose of diluted liquid fertilizer (half-strength) in the growing season. Keep the compost filled with rich nutrients for the best results. Don’t overfeed, especially in winter, or the fronds will start to show clear signs of browning.

Reproduction: You can propagate Boston Ferns from spores and division. The division is the most common method and can be carried out in late winter. When dividing, make sure to break the plant into sections with at least two leaves attached to the rooted runners. Although smaller sections can also become established, larger sections have a higher chance of success and mature faster. You can use scissors to cut off desired sections neatly.

Transfer: When potting a Boston Fern, use a well-drained potting mix rich in organic matter. As discussed in the watering section, this plant requires frequent watering. If the soil isn’t fast-draining, that results in standing water that ends with root rot. Maintain drainage holes in the sides of the pot and ensure the potting mix is peat-based to solve all potential problems. You can repot these ferns any time during the year, but it’s best to do it during the spring or summer when they are actively growing. Roots become congested every few years, so check before committing to a new pot. 

Features of Care:  Boston Ferns are native to the tropics, so they need a warm humid environment to thrive. They are one of the most popular plants for indoor use. They are easy to care for, and they add a touch of greenery to any room.

Difficulties: Ensure that you’ve fed the plant with appropriate feed if it’s growing season. Also, check its location; if it’s receiving too much light, move it somewhere slightly shadier and see if the fronds don’t go back to normal. Either way, you’ll have to wait a bit to see improvement. One or two fronds browning and falling off is natural. However, if multiple fronds exhibit the same signs, the plant probably needs more moisture. Mist the leaves daily and increase the watering frequency until the plant recovers. Recovery should occur soon after the watering routine is fixed.