Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis'
Common Name: Boston fern
Type: Fern
Family: Nephrolepidaceae
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Rabbit


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. In St. Louis, it is easily grown indoors. Use a peaty, soil-based potting mix. Site in bright indirect light with no direct sun. Tolerant of some shade. Soils should be kept consistently moist, with only a slight reduction in watering from fall to late winter. Prefers high humidity and may appreciate being set on a tray of wet pebbles. Will shed fronds if soils dry out, at which point all fronds may be cut back to about 2” to regenerate.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Boston fern (also sword fern) is an evergreen fern that grows with an upright spreading habit to 3’ tall and as wide. It is one of the easiest of the ferns to grow indoors. Fronds initially grow upward but arch gracefully and then droop with age.


No serious insect or disease problems. Scale, mealybugs and white fly may appear.

Garden Uses

Indoor fern, perhaps best for pedestals or hanging baskets.