With their delicate, fresh green fronds, indoor ferns give every apartment that certain something. Clear the stage for the five most beautiful ferns for your home!
It should be wonderfully green in our rooms, all year round, please! And that’s exactly why indoor ferns are evergreen exotic species among our absolute favorites. They are not only beautiful to look at, but also good for the indoor climate. We give tips on caring for ferns as houseplants and introduce you to the five most beautiful species.
This is how indoor ferns thrive
In nature, the exotic ferns often grow in rainforests, on river banks, on moss-covered stones or on tree trunks. In our apartments, indoor ferns like to be light or shady, but they reject direct sunlight. Make sure you use high-quality, but low-nutrient potting soil for your indoor ferns – potting soil with sand is often the best choice for sensitive species. The soil should always be loose so that the room-warm, preferably lime-free irrigation water can flow through. Because although ferns love moisture, waterlogging is very harmful to them.
As children of the forest, ferns prefer high humidity. Avoid drafts and dry heating air. You are welcome to spray indoor ferns with soft water or rainwater. In calcareous water, however, the fronds get white spots and some species do not like being sprayed at all. You can set them up near small fountains or water bowls. In terms of nutritional requirements, indoor ferns are very frugal – a supply of liquid fertilizer twice a month is sufficient. Occasionally, mealybugs also appear as pests. Brown spots or stripes under the leaves, on the other hand, are not a cause for concern, because these are the so-called spore capsules. The spores, with the help of which ferns multiply, ripen in them.
Sword fern as a houseplant
The sword fern has been in horticultural culture for almost 200 years. Originally he was at home in the tropical regions of Africa, America and Asia. Around 30 species make up the sword fern family (Nephrolepidaceae), the best known species for the room is the upright sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata). The light green, pinnate leaves are up to 150 centimeters long. The fronds grow upright to slightly overhanging from a rosette. The leaflets can be twisted, wavy or curled depending on the variety. The tropical string-leaved sword fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia), which is also widespread as a house fern, has smoother plumage.
With its long fronds, the indoor fern comes into its own as an imposing solitaire in hanging baskets or on pillars. It forms thread-like runners on which small children form. To multiply, simply separate them in summer and put them in small pots. Adult ferns should be repotted in spring every three years.
Nest fern as a houseplant
The nest fern (Aspenium nidus) carries fronds up to one meter long and 15 centimeters wide with a dark central rib. They are undivided, elegantly wavy and have a very shiny surface. Since they all arise from a central point of vegetation, they form a funnel-like rosette – the “nest”.
Nest ferns are one of the indoor ferns that get by with extremely little light. They have a year-round warm location with temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees and high humidity. If the tips and edges of the fronds turn brown, it is usually due to dry air or poor water supply. Nest ferns have a relatively high demand for water – they should be watered several times a week and dipped every now and then. Since the house ferns are somewhat sensitive to lime, it is best to water them with tempered rainwater.
Maidenhair fern as a houseplant
Shiny, thin, black-brown leaf stalks and countless fine, rounded, fresh green leaves – the lady’s hair fern (Adiantum raddianum) is characterized by its delicate and filigree appearance. Its leaflets initially grow as upright, later overhanging fronds that are up to 50 centimeters long. In addition to its graceful growth, the indoor fern has another interesting characteristic: water simply rolls off its leaflets.
Maidenhair ferns can be found all over the world: while some species are found in the Alps, others feel at home in tropical rainforests. Specimens that are kept as indoor plants belong to the non-winter-hardy plants. The ideal location for this elegant fern is in the bathroom, because the high humidity makes it feel right at home.
Pelle fern as a houseplant
The pelle fern (Pellaea rotundifolia), also called button fern, would probably not necessarily be assigned to ferns on a cursory glance: Instead of filigree fronds, it has thick, shiny, leather-like leaflets with reddish shoots. It is also only about 20 centimeters high. The dark, simple feathered fronds often crawl flat along the ground in the outer area, the inner fronds also hardly grow upright, but spread out horizontally.
The fur fern belongs to the fur fern family (Sinopteridaceae) and its properties also distinguish it from other indoor ferns: It is relatively robust and can even tolerate dry heating air and normal tap water. You should always keep it slightly moist – thanks to its leathery foliage, it can even withstand short periods of dryness. In winter, the temperature can drop to up to twelve degrees. Put it in a light place – if it is too dark, it sheds its leaves.
Antler fern as a houseplant
The antler fern (Platycerium) looks a bit bizarre and resembles a sculpture more than a plant: its green leaves can be up to a meter long and branch out like antlers with age. The spore capsules, which the indoor fern needs for reproduction, form on the underside. They stand out as unusually large, dark brown to black areas. In addition to these characteristic fronds, the fern also has coat leaves that turn brown and die off over time. You should not remove these under any circumstances, as they act as humus and water reservoirs.
This indoor fern is native to all tropical rainforests on earth. There it grows as an epiphyte on trunks or in the forks of large trees. In our latitudes, the antler fern also feels good in pots and is the ideal hanging plant. You can also keep it in heated rooms with dry air. The reason: The leaflets have a waxy surface that protects them from strong evaporation. This indoor fern should not be sprayed with water; it is better to place it in water at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes once a week. In winter, watering is enough for about ten days.