9 indoor ferns that will make your home a tropical paradise

9 indoor ferns that will make your home a tropical paradise

Many indoor fern species add a lush, tropical look to any room. This diverse group of plants comes in a range of colors and textures, including delicate, striped fronds and large, smooth foliage. Here are nine recommendations for getting started, plus indoor fern care tips and display ideas.

Staghorn fern

Pre Bassano

This indoor fern draws attention for two reasons: their namesake's forked fronds that look a bit like pods, and their unique growth. Moose plants are epiphytes, which means that in nature they grow on other plants (but are not parasites on the host plant). So they don't need to grow in pots of soil like other plants do. Instead, use them as displays of expression, such as those mounted on panels hung on the wall. Water them as you would air plants, by misting them daily or soaking them weekly.

name: Platycerium branched

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: It grows up to 3 feet tall and wide

Maidenhair fern

Jay Wilde

Maidenhair has a reputation for being somewhat difficult to grow indoors. This is because they love moisture, which means they need plenty of water and humidity. So, if you are a fan of drinking too much water, this is the plant for you. Use a daily spray or two, and this fern will reward you with soft-textured fronds on long, black, wiry stems.

name: Adiantum radianus

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: It grows up to 2 feet tall and wide

Lemon button fern

Pre Bassano

This indoor fern is cute as a button with its small, circular, golden-green leaflets (which give it a button-like appearance). These long, arching fronds work well in hanging baskets or tabletop terrariums. The simple plant adds richness to any decorating style.

name: Nephrolepis cordifolia “lemon button”

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: It grows up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Kangaroo paw fern

Pre Bassano

The shiny, dark green fronds grow to form a unkempt mound reminiscent of Medusa's hair. Native to Australia, this indoor fern gets its name from its long leaves, which resemble the feet of a large kangaroo. Like the rabbit's foot fern, it has thick roots that may creep up the sides of its container.

name: Microsaurium direcifolium (Synth. phymatosaurus)

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and medium humidity

measuring: It grows up to 2 feet tall and wide

Fern crocodile

Jay Wilde

The bright green leaves (called fern fronds) have a creepy, scaly appearance that is not in keeping with what most people picture as a fern. The fronds of the alligator fern also explain its common name. When fully grown, they make a big statement, often reaching 2-3 feet tall.

name: Microsorium mocifolium “crocodile”

Growing conditions: Medium to low light and high humidity

measuring: It grows up to 3 feet tall and wide

Rabbit's foot fern

Pre Bassano

This beautiful indoor fern features dark green, smooth-textured fronds and fuzzy rhizomes (roots) creeping up the side of the pot or along the soil. Grayish-white hair covers the roots which inspired its common name. Show off your (or even pet) those roots by displaying these ferns in hanging planters.

name: Humata Termani

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: To 2 feet tall and wide

Bird's nest fern

Phoebe Cheung


Leathery fronds with wavy edges radiate from the center of the plant to create a striking vase shape that vaguely resembles a nest. Since these indoor ferns love high humidity, they are great plants to grow in your bathroom, if you have a window that provides plenty of indirect light.

name: Asplenium nest

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: Reaches 5 feet tall and wide (but usually 1 to 2 feet indoors)

Silver brake fern

Jay Wilde

We love the two-tone foliage of this attractive plant, which also goes by the names silver lace fern and slender brake fern. Each frond has several narrow leaflets with a pale silver stripe down the middle. The leaflets also have crowned (or branched) tips. Keep this moisture-loving indoor fern happy by not letting the soil dry out completely between waterings.

name: Cretaceous Petris 'the mom'

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

measuring: To 2 feet tall and wide

Cotton candy Boston Fern

Pre Bassano

Boston ferns make excellent houseplants because they are not very picky about anything other than getting regular watering and some bright, indirect light. They have naturally textured fronds and can become quite large at maturity. Some varieties remain small (like the 'Cotton Candy' shown here, which we love for its super-soft, feathery fronds).

name: College height 'girls hair'

Growing conditions: Medium to bright light and medium humidity

measuring: to 1 foot tall and wide

Indoor plants to add greenery to your home

Indoor plants can be just what your home needs to add a natural element that will warm your room and add a touch of the outdoors. If you're new to plant care, these low-maintenance options will make it easier to get started. For flower lovers, these colorful and flowering plants bring plenty of vibrant color to your space. High ceilings can sometimes make a room feel cold and harsh, but adding one or two tall plants, especially in the corners, can easily remedy this problem. To help your indoor plants grow, choose the right fertilizer and follow these tips for the best watering.

Choose coordinated farmers

Choose some planters with a unique texture or color to coordinate with your interior design. You can use old, reclaimed planters—simply add drainage holes to prevent root rot. You can create unique hanging planters to add interesting shapes, including a wall trellis planter and a mobile air plant that will be a conversation starter. If your indoor plants are starting to take over your home, it may be time to create a garden room where they can live happily together.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply