A Shopper's Guide to Buying Indoor Ferns

A Shopper's Guide to Buying Indoor Ferns

Ferns have played a starring role in home décor since the Victorian era. By Doug Jimerson
Ferns have played a starring role in home décor since the Victorian era. Prized for their graceful, green foliage and their ability to thrive in dark conditions, ferns are a handsome and versatile choice for any room in your home. Here’s what to look for when you shop for ferns.

Broadleaf ferns 
When you think of ferns you probably picture a green plant with arching stems of finely divided foliage. But, don’t be mistaken—not all ferns look alike. In fact, there’s a host of amazing ferns that sport showy, strap-like leaves that will provide a bold look in any setting. Some of our favorites include:
 > Bird’s Nest fern
 > Staghorn fern
 > Japanese Bird’s Nest fern
 > Kangaroo fern
 > Cobra Bird’s Nest fern 

 These ferns combine well with other houseplants and their leaves don’t shrivel and die if you occasionally forget to water them.   

Shopping tips: When shopping, look for plants with sturdy, bright green leaves. Avoid plants with wilting or yellow foliage.

Classic ferns 
If you love the traditional look of Boston ferns, but don’t have the space for these big beauties, check out some more compact alternatives such as:
 > Autumn fern
 > Bear Paw fern
 > Brake fern
 > Caterpillar fern
 > Compact Boston fern
 > Delilah Boston fern
 > Delta Maidenhair fern
 > Florida Ruffle Boston fern
 > Fluffy Ruffle fern
 > Green Fantasy fern
 > Lucky Lemon fern
 > Medusa fern
 > Rabbit’s Foot fern
 > Sassy fern
 > Silver Lady fern 

All of these fine ferns grow well in pots, baskets, or terrariums.

Shopping tips:
When shopping for classic ferns look for a uniform growth habit with few dead or dying leaves. 

Colorful ferns
Not all ferns are green! A few have richly toned or bi-colored foliage that looks great year-round. A few of our favorites include:
 > Blue Star fern
 > Mahogany fern
 > Rosy Maidenhair fern
 > Silver Lace fern
 > Tricolor fern
 > Variegated Brake fern 

Mix them with other ferns for an extra dose of color or showcase them alone on a mantel, coffee table, or windowsill.

Shopping tips: When shopping for colorful ferns remember that the younger fronds generally have the most color. Look for plants with new growth starting to pop out of the soil.

Fern care
All ferns prefer bright indirect light that’s protected from the direct rays of the sun. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet, at all times. Ferns thrive in humid conditions so place them in your bathroom or kitchen where they will benefit from the extra moisture in the air.