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Ferns
houseplant

Features

Ferns are a wonderful addition to the shade garden, with a variety of unique textures, from soft and deeply cut to bold and lance-shaped. Available in sizes perfect for low edgings, taller backgrounds or filler. Combine with hosta, astilbe, and jacob's ladder for a nice blend of texture and color. Prefers moist, acidic, humus-rich soils.

Blooms

Foliage plant.

Hardiness

USDA Zone 5 (-20°F) to USDA Zone 9 (20°F).

Height

Grows 8-48" (20-122 cm) tall.

Spacing

10-24" (25-61 cm) apart.

Feed

Use all-purpose

Tips and Uses

Woodland Settings

Habit

Clumping

Water

1-2 times per week

Preferred Light

Bright light.

Maintenance

Avoid direct sunlight

Special Features

Attractive Foliage, Low Maintenance



Companion Plants

Plantain Lily

Jacob's Ladder

False Spirea

› General Plant Info

  • Indoor plants include a wide assortment of tropical foliage and flowering plants that have adapted to the home environment. Some are so well-suited to indoor conditions that they can become long-term elements in your home décor. Others are seasonal, providing a welcome, long-lasting display of flowers that is best replaced with a fresh plant when the bloom has faded.
  • Indoor plants make valuable contributions to the home and will:
  • Clean and purify the air
  • Add humidity to the dry winter air
  • Beautify and decorate
  • Create a sense of calm and relaxation
  • Reduce noise levels
  • Add fragrance to a room
  • Celebrate the seasons with holiday plants and bulb gardens
  • Make great gift items
  • Success with houseplants:
  • Light preference - Always match your plants to the light conditions where they will be growing. Most plants are put into one of three basic categories:
  • Bright Light - Found in locations up to two feet from east or west windows or five feet from south windows.
  • Medium Light - Also described as bright-diffused or indirect light. Found in locations up to four feet from a north window, eight feet from a south window or five feet from an east or west window.
  • Low Light - Found in locations up to six feet from a north window, eight feet from an east or west window and ten feet from a south window. All plants need some light.
  • Take into account seasonal and regional light intensities — for example, winter light is generally less intense, and sun intensity will be higher in southern and western regions of the country.
  • Consider providing supplemental lighting from a special plant light to expand options in a dark setting.
  • Size - Plants grown indoors are much smaller than their outdoor counterparts, and are often available in a range of sizes, from a small starter plant to a large floor plant. Consult plant tags to get a general idea of the overall size potential for your selection.
  • General tips:
  • Avoid exposing plants to cold drafts from windows, doors or air conditioning and hot air from heating ducts. These conditions can stress indoor plants.
  • Some flowering plants will bloom longer if moved to a cooler area at night.
  • Periodically turn plants to encourage even growth and a symmetrical form. Plants will tend to lean toward a source of natural light.
  • Orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. Consult plant tags for extra information to ensure your success.

› Water Tips

  • Consult your plant tag for guidelines on the watering needs for your selection.
  • Overwatering is a common cause of indoor plant problems.
  • Add water slowly until it runs out the drainage holes in the pot. This ensures that all of the soil is thoroughly moistened, not just the top or outer layers.
  • Don’t water on a schedule without first checking the soil to see if it is dry or soggy. Plants' needs vary, and it is important to touch the soil to confirm that water is needed.
  • For large containers, a moisture probe is a helpful tool, to ensure that the center of the soil ball is being moistened.
  • Most plants benefit from periodic leaching, especially if mineral salts begin to accumulate as a light colored crust on soil surface.
  • Start by skimming the top layer of soil to remove crust.
  • Replace with an equal amount of fresh soil if necessary.
  • Set plant in sink or bathtub, and pour clear water over soil until water runs through the drainage holes. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • When water stops dripping, replace decorative cover, pot or saucer and return plant to its normal location.
  • If plants are grown outdoors during warm weather seasons, watering needs will generally increase.

› Planting Tips

  • For best success, plants should be grown in pots with drainage holes. Clear plastic or decorative saucers should be used to protect table surfaces.
  • Plants in plastic grower pots can be set in decorative containers to dress up your plants without repotting.
  • Some plants benefit from being moved outdoors during warm weather.
  • Choose a lower light situation outdoors to avoid burning foliage.
  • Use as patio plants, changing decorative containers if desired.
  • Add to large annual container combinations for a tropical flair.
  • Plant in the ground as annuals, or dig up and repot at season’s end to bring back indoors.
  • Before bringing back indoors, check carefully for insects and treat if necessary.
  • When plants grow too large for their container, they may need to be repotted.
  • Plants adapt best to a new container that is no more than two inches larger in diameter.
  • Use a high-quality light potting mix for best results.
  • Follow any specific recommendations for your plant in regard to timing or special potting soil.

› Fertilizer

  • Indoor plants should be fertilized only when they are actively growing.
  • Follow recommendations on plant tags to meet your specific plant’s needs.
  • Water-soluble fertilizers can be applied with a watering can during a regular watering. This gives the plants an immediate boost, but needs to be re-applied regularly.
  • Time-release fertilizers are mixed into the soil or added to the top, depending on product. Each time the plant is watered, a small amount of fertilizer is released.
  • Choose a product formulated for indoor plants and follow package directions carefully.
  • If plants are dry and wilting, water immediately with clear water. Using water-soluble fertilizer at this time will harm the plants; wait until the next watering.

› Pruning Tips

  • Indoor plants are generally slow growing and rarely need trimming. However, selective pruning can be helpful in maintaining an attractive appearance. Research your specific plant to make sure it will respond well to the particular type of pruning:
  • Remove any damaged or dead leaves or stems, using sharp shears or pruners. Rinse tools in bleach solution to sterilize between cuts.
  • Trim off any straggly growth that takes away from the overall shape of the plant. Cut the stem slightly shorter than plant foliage that will remain, so that the cut end doesn’t show.
  • Clipping the growing tips of most branching plants will encourage a bushy, lush appearance.
  • Vining houseplants such as pothos or hoya can overgrow the space planned for them. Simply trim unwanted growth. You may try to root the cuttings in water to start new plants.
  • Some plants develop semi-woody stems and become oversized or rangy with time. These can be cut back to a more manageable size, and most plants will sprout new leaves below the cut, even if the stems are bare. The removed sections may be used to start new plants.
  • Keep flowering plants looking their best by removing flowers and/or flowering stems as they fade.
  • The flowers of moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) will last for many months, and will wilt and drop when they have finished. Do not trim off the flowering stalk before it starts to turn light brown—these plants often rebloom on the same stalk after a brief resting period.