Sunday, October 24, 2010

The secret to growing a beautiful Boston Fern!.

I've always marveled at those big, beautiful Boston Ferns that hang on the porches of homes every summer, making them look like a show home from Southern Living magazine.

I have never had good luck growing a Boston Fern.  Two years ago I saw some small Boston Ferns in 8" pots in my local Home Depot's plant area priced at only $8.00 each. So I came home with three of them.

At the time I was living in a three story house on the water in Homosassa, Florida with lots of ocean breezes mixed with a long summer rainy season. I wanted these ferns for my second story wrap-around deck, where  I would enjoy them through my many windows in the living room and dining room areas.

I decided to try some pots that hold water at the bottom and the plant draws the water from there as it is needed. I purchased three plastic pots from my local discount store that had this area on the bottom for water. I put the three ferns on my deck and monitored the water, making sure the area below the plant and dirt had water in it at all times.

As the Boston Ferns grew, I replanted them again into larger pots, using the same kind of pots. They grew beautifully all summer. When winter came, I moved one of them inside, behind two sliding glass doors that faced the east, so it would get good morning light. The other two were left outside all winter, only coming inside on cold nights. Florida had a very cold winter last year with below freezing many nights.

The inside fern continued to grow and flourish. When I moved to a different house in May of this year, I was worried about my inside fern as this house has no east windows for morning sunlight. So I put my big fern right inside my two sliding glass doors that face the west, where it now gets the afternoon sunshine and light.

This inside fern seems happy here and continues to grow and get thicker. Yes, a few leaves do fall from the underneath side close to the pot, but that is normal. I continue to keep it watered from the bottom, and fertilize it once every two or three months.  The two other ferns are outside on my front porch facing the east and doing well, but much smaller than this inside fern.

These two photos were taken yesterday. The first photo shows the fern in the afternoon sunlight.  The other photo was taken facing the west showing the sliding glass doors with the afternoon sun coming in.

I hope I have encouraged you to try growing a Boston Fern! Good luck and don't give up!


  1. Gorgeous Linda, absolutely huge!! It likes you! :)

  2. great photos. I also love the asparagus ferns & keep meaning to plant some. have you had any luck with those?

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  4. (Typos in that other comment)

    Stacey, I don't have any experience with asparagus ferns. I'm having fun with these Boston ferns because I could never grow them before now.