Sparrow and Finch Gardening Caring for Ferns as Houseplants

Caring for Ferns as Houseplants

What is the appeal of ferns that makes them so attractive? Though they don’t bloom or produce fruit, or have a heady scent, they are the preferred choice of most gardeners in the outdoor landscape, and they are known to be a breeze to grow.

But why should they be brought indoors like so many houseplant enthusiasts do? In the garden, they’re practically maintenance-free. In the inside, it’s a different. They are very specific about their requirements and can go to the grave if they are neglected. But people remain attracted to a myriad of ferns on the windowsills, in their kitchens and bathrooms, and any other place in the house where they think they could benefit from the softening properties of delicate fronds.

The Victorians truly set the standard in the introduction of ferns into indoor spaces. Their zealousness for keeping and displaying the plants was so widespread and intense that it was known as the pteridomania. 

The fern craze in the Victorians eventually resulted in a cult of orchids. However, the practice of indoor ferns remains, and a variety of varieties to suit this function continues to thrive. It seems like there’s an fern that you can plant as a house plant anywhere you can imagine, with the exception of maybe inside of a closet, or under the mattress.


Ferns are known for their being a bit sloppy, and their requirements for cultivation are very specific. However, with a bit of consideration and care, it is possible to successfully cultivate and care for them in your home as houseplants. Experts suggest analyzing the conditions carefully before choosing an appropriate species suitable for the area you are considering.

For the best development and well-being, it’s crucial to supply ferns with lots of humidity, ample watering, ample space, adequate light and direct sunlight exposure, and a rich and well-draining soil.


The proper humidity is an extremely difficult thing to achieve as the majority of people living in temperate climates are surrounded by central heat that is extremely dry. The levels of moisture in your home can be as desert-like and at as low as 5 to 10% relative humidity, far lower than the 40-50 percent range that are recommended for ferns.

Larger versions of Cinnamon Fern

To grow ferns indoors, try to replicate the moist, low-light conditions where they thrive outdoors. Photo by Blanca Begert.

If you need to add more moisture, then a humidifier close to the plants is an alternative. The humidifiers at the drugstore are made to help people hydrate and not plants, therefore there are some specific aspects to be looking for when buying one. A long run-time is essential. Choose one that runs continuously without refilling for a minimum of 12 hours. Humidifiers must be cleaned regularly to stop them from releasing salt or fungus onto your plants. So select one with a straightforward layout to make the task easier.

There are a lot of the fern’s fronds or leaves that are used as fillers in arrangements of flowers. Don’t let that lead you believe that ferns will be okay when they are packed against the walls of a peace lily or begonia within your home. Their delicate leaves can be susceptible to breaking and require ample circulation of humid air to avoid injury and to keep them well hydrated. This is a vital aspect to keep in mind when you choose to utilize a humidifier. Installing a fan near can help disperse the moist air and stop drops of water from settling on your plants, potentially creating blights or other plants ailments.


The question of lighting the indoor fern can be a challenge with many gardeners. I’d rather not be able to tell how many ferns have I destroyed because I believed that the plant was the ideal solution to brighten up the dark corners. Even though ferns can be happy inhabitants of shade gardens outside indoors, they need lots of indirect, bright sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause their delicate foliage to burn, drying it out and brittle, and also browning the edges. Avoid exposure to the sun’s southern aspect.

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