nephrolepis exaltata – sword fern

the sword fern (nephrolepis exaltata), aka boston fern or fishbone fern is a very popular houseplant. there are cultivars with variegated or ruffled leaves available. it’s suitable for a hanging basket.


the sword fern (neprholepis exaltata) does good from bright indirect light to partial shade. some morning and/or evening sun is ok.

it can be planted in a regular potting soil or a mix between humus, gritty and sand (2:1:1). keep it evenly moist but not wet. the sword fern is more drought tolerant than other ferns so it’s no problem if the soil’s surface is drying between the waterings. but it shouldn’t completely dry out.

a half diluted water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly in spring/summer and every six/eight weeks during fall/winter (if placed at room temperature).

the sword fern can be wintered at +/-10 °c (50 °f). now it needs less watering (but no completely dry out) and must not be fed.

nephrolepis exaltata sword fern


nephrolepis exaltata can be propagated by division.