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How to Care for Boston Ferns Indoors & Out

This post shares tips on how to care for Boston ferns indoors & out.

When Summer is coming to an end and it is time to bring those Boston Ferns indoors, this guide will help.

Even if your plants were thriving outside, you will need to know how to care for Boston Ferns indoors.

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Boston Ferns are a great plant to have both indoors and out, they add a nice touch to any decor.

Botanically named Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”, the Boston Fern is a common choice for decorators and gardeners alike.

It offers both beauty and elegance no matter if this plant lives inside or out.

Plus this decorative houseplant has a reputation for cleaning the air inside your home but it can be a difficult plant to maintain if you don’t know How to Care for Boston Ferns Indoors & Out. 


Ferns thrive in high humidity, so it is best to keep them in a moist environment.

To ensure high humidity around your ferns, if you have a humidifier running nearby this will do the trick.

If your environment tends to be dry, you can fix this problem with pebbles or rocks.

Fill a little dish or tray with rocks and add water, place the plant on top, this will allow your fern to soak up water as needed without sitting in it.

Plus it’s a great way to collect any excess liquid when watering your Boston Ferns.

In the Winter, this method is even more helpful because the dry air will tend to bring the water up and out of the pan or bowl underneath.

This can help keep your plants from drying out in between waterings. 

rocks for household plants


Boston Ferns do not like to be soaking wet so you can use caution when watering your houseplant.

Even though they like high humidity around them, it is best to not soak them until they dry out, then water again. No need to water every day.

It can be really difficult to keep up with a plant that needs to be watered every single day. When selecting the right plant for you, keep in mind that Boston Fern Care requires a little less of your time. 

Although when it is time to water your plants, it will take a bit longer than others with the sink method.

You will need to allow your plant to drip dry for a bit before moving in your home to prevent dripping water all over your house. 

When to Repot Boston Ferns 

The best time to repot your Boston Fern is when the plant is thriving, in the Springtime.

If you have your Boston Fern outdoors and want to bring it inside each Winter, it is best to keep that in mind when choosing a pot. 

Choose something like this one that will allow you to bring the pot in and out when the seasons change.

No need to put your plants in shock with a repotting mid-Winter, plan ahead and your Boston Fern should thrive in its new pot.

It will look great inside your home and outside when the weather warms up again. 

Try to avoid heavy, breakable pots, you will be glad you thought this through when it comes time to move your plants. 

How to Care for a Boston Fern Indoors


Find a bright location in your home to keep your Boston Fern that will not saturate your fern wight direct sunlight throughout the day.

Boston Ferns prefer indirect lighting indoors as well as out, so keep that in mind when finding a home for this houseplant.

During the winter months, you may need to reevaluate the proper Boston Fern care due to the placement of windows in your home.

The cloudy dreary days of Winter can impact the amount of sunlight your plant gets during the colder months, so it is best to keep that in mind when finding a place in your home for your plant.

You can always move it around as the weather changes but in my experience, the constant moving and bumping into furniture can damage the fronds.

How to Care for a Boston Fern Indoors

Fertilizer for Boston Fern

Boston Ferns should be fertilized every other week using a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer, this means 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium.

I like to set my Boston Fern in the sink and pour the fertilizer in along with water and allow it to run through and soak the plant thoroughly.

I then remove it from the sink and allow it to dry out before the next watering.

During the Summer it can be much easier to water your Boston Ferns because you don’t have to worry about the excess water draining out onto your floor. 

Using the sink to water your plant makes the hydrating process much easier and less messy. 

How to Care for a Boston Fern Indoors

Trimming a Boston Fern

Trim the fronds and leaflets when the plant begins to lose its vibrant green color.

Unfortunately, this will happen from time to time, especially if there is a problem with your Boston Fern. 

Address the problem that is causing your fern to shed its leaves. This can happen when repotting your fern or relocating it indoors for the Winter.

Some breeds of Boston Ferns will send out little runners that you can pull off and replant, they are baby ferns with tiny roots.

I love doing this, not only does it add to my plant collection but I love to do this without having to buy more. 

How to Care for a Boston Fern Indoors

Now that you know How to Care for Boston Ferns both Indoors and Out, share this post on social media so your friends can see it too.

Don’t forget to leave a comment with any tips you may have for the proper way to care for a Boston Fern. 

Share this guide to proper Boston Fern Care on Pinterest so you can come back to it later if you have a problem in the future with your plants. 

Click here to see the fertilizer that I use and click here to get a Boston Fern delivered to your door. For more Boston Fern Care Tips, check out this post.

You may also enjoy this post sharing a whimsical garden tour and this homemade miracle grow recipe.

About Thirty Something Super Mom

Melissa Dixon Thirty Something Super Mom
Thirty Something Super Mom | Website

My journey started after a Crohn's disease diagnosis, inspiring a commitment to well-being. This site shares my distinctive approach to healthy living with my collection of nutritious recipes that boast authentic flavors, mimicking the indulgence of traditional dishes. I love sharing guilt free recipes for low carb, keto, gluten-free, paleo, and the specific carbohydrate diet. I also share tips on natural living, including homemade cleaners and cleaning hacks. I also share my experience as a veterinary technician and pet groomer, to integrate pet health tips, homemade dog food recipes, and grooming insights to ensure your pets thrive.


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Thanks this was very helpful ☺️


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

You're welcome and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good luck with your ferns.

Nancy Jean Parney

Saturday 17th of September 2022

When repotting or planting a runner, does it take a certain type of soil?


Wednesday 5th of October 2022

That's an excellent question Nancy, I usually just use affordable yet high-quality soil from my local gardening store. Adding compost tea is also a great way to make sure you are giving your plants a great start!


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Hello, so I bought 2 Boston Ferns today... now what?.. I didnt get much information only to water every other day depending on how much direct sunlight they get and to bring them indoors when temperature drops belo 45°f, that was it. I bought them for the purpose of keeping them out in my front porch which is pretty shaded. I live in New Jersey so currently since it is still spring time temperature can be nice and warm (60's and the next can drop to 40s) I am a newbie at this so bare with me.. my questions are: am I supposed to repot them? Put new soil? Should I do your suggestions with rocks and the fertilizer? I honestly thought water and some miracle grow would do but now I am totally confused with this post lol... water it in the sink? Like ((mind blown)) these plants sounds like lots of work! Any tips to this beginner will help. TIA


Saturday 1st of May 2021

Hi Zahira, thanks for stopping by and checking out the post. I would not worry about repotting your plant unless the current plant is running out of room or if it has poor drainage. You can use the suggestion found in this post although the rocks are not necessary, they can help some plants thrive. Each home is different with many different variables to consider, humidity levels, sunlight amount, and temperature. Then there are water conditions that will vary as well. My suggestion to you just starting out would be not to panic. Sometimes a bit of time with your plant and a little bit of trial and error is all you need to find what works best. Don't overthink it, I bet you are going to do great with your plant. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

Tamra Phelps

Sunday 18th of November 2018

You would not believe how many plants I've killed. I killed a cactus by watering it. I need these instructions.