Boston fern

Boston fern

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With the termfernsa large number of plants are identified: thePteriodophytes(orferns) see a grouping of over 11,000 species. Among these, the speciesNephrolepis exaltata (Boston fern) is very popular for its beautiful ornamental leaves.

Before talking about theNephrolepis exaltata(better known asBoston fern), let's see the scientific classification of this species.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Pteridophyta
  • Class: Polypodiopsida / Pteriodopsita (Pteriodofite)
  • Order: Polypodiales
  • Family: Nephrolepidaceae
  • Genus: Nephrolepis
  • Species: Nephrolepis exaltata oBoston fern

This species is native to tropical areas around the world. It grows spontaneously in humid forests and swamps with a tropical climate (South America, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, in Polynesia, Africa…). Due to our harsh winter climate, theBoston fernit is considered an excellent house fern but cannot be grown in the garden.

Boston fern

The fronds of the Nephrolepis exaltata species are 50 to 250 cm long and 6 to 15 cm broad. In a domestic environment, the fronds offernshardly exceed 60 cm. Thefernsthey are famous for the ornamental leaves with "alternate fins", each fin of theBoston fernit is 2-8 cm long. Thisfernit is much appreciated because the margins of the leaves appear slightly serrated, giving it a particular affection.

Actually, with the nameBoston fernreference is made to a mutation of the Nephrolepis exaltata species discovered in 1894. This mutation has erect and arched fronds. In the scientific field, this mutation is calledNephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis.

ThereBoston fernit's aperennial plant which can be grown easily at home, even in hanging pots.

Grow ferns in the garden

If you want to experience theBoston fern cultivation in the garden, know that in winter the plant will appear dried out and dead due to frost, and then resume to vegetate in spring. If your purpose is togrow ferns in the garden, also take a look at the species oftree ferns.

Among the municipalitiesferns, theNephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensisit is the one that most tolerates drought but despite this greater tolerance, like all fernswants moist soil.

Grown in the garden, this onefernprefers partial shade or full shade. Those who live in the far south of Italy with very mild winters should know that the plant becomes more invasive. In our country, even in the South, the climatic conditions capable of making prosperity should never persistfernsuntil they are invasive.

For mere information, we point out that Nephrolepis exaltata is considered an alien plant in South Africa where it is extremely invasive to the detriment of other vegetation. In some provinces its cultivation is prohibited and it is mandatory - by law - to eradicate it. Due to its great propagation capacity, its cultivation is prohibited in some countries.

How to grow the Boston fern

At home, theBoston fernit lends itself well to humid environments such as kitchens and bathrooms. When it is well developed, it will be necessary to continue with water sprays to make the air around the crown of the plant more saturated.

When grown indoors, thisfernprefers a bright environment but never in direct contact with the sun of a window. Ideally, it should be placed in a room with filtered light.

It is also a safe plant for animals: dogs and cats often have the habit of nibbling leaves. This fern is completely harmless.

Boston fern, how to cure it

The Boston fern takes care like all other ferns. How to care for ferns? When growing indoors:

  • Keep the plant in a bright environment but with soft or filtered light.
  • Keep the plant in a humid environment such as a bathroom or kitchen, or, if you want to grow it in the living room where the humidity is lower, mist the canopy every other day.
  • For the sprays of the foliage, choose non-calcareous water such as distilled water. Limestone can ruin the appearance of the leaves.
  • Use universal fertile soil to mix with 1/4 of peat and 1/4 of sand. The soil must always be kept moist. If you don't feel like making mixtures, the plant adapts well to any soil, as long as it is kept moist but not soaked with water (that's why we told you to add sand, which allows for good drainage without water stagnation).
  • Thefernsthey should be irrigated when the soil is about to dry out completely.

The temperature between 20-22 ° C (classic domestic temperature) is excellent forfern. Why don't we recommend growing it in the garden? Because the plant begins to suffer when temperatures drop below 10 ° C.

If grown in pot, it needs periodic fertilization. Fertilize thefernswith fertilizer for green plants to be added to the irrigation water every 15 days. Respect the doses you find on the label.

Video: Boston Fern Care. Fern Friday (June 2022).


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