Are Ferns Good Indoor Plants

Ferns are fine as houseplants or office plants and can be a wonderful low maintenance option, as long as they get a suitable amount of humidity. They will always do better in a medium to bright bathroom or kitchen. Not all ferns are suitable but most good online shops specialising in indoor plants will have a selection of ferns that do well indoors.

Aside from their attractive arching fronds ferns especially the Boston Fern can absorb formaldehyde and lower VOC’s that are created by Carpets, Paint, Air Fresheners and Laminate flooring to name but a few. ( The Boston Fern is of the most efficient air purifying plants for formaldehyde according to a study published in HortScience )

Ideal humidity and moisture for your indoor fern

Ideally, stand your fern in a tray of damp pebbles and mist often if you feel there isn’t quite enough humidity in the room. The soil should always be slightly moist never completely dry and not soggy. You can tell if your fern is suffering from a lack of water/humidity as the tips will go crispy and brown.

Another thing to remember with ferns is to try and avoid drafts (drafty areas/or areas where dry air can whisk away water from your fern.

Choose the right type of soil for your fern

You will also need to provide the right type of soil/compost. Most ferns are forest plants and will have quite delicate roots. The right soil and compost will be a free draining soil to prevent water-clogged roots. A soil that contains sand, peat / fibrous peat is best.

A good potting mix should include peat moss to retain moisture, sterilised garden loam or potting soil and, sand or potting grit to help with drainage.

Feeding your fern

Feed them in the summertime every 2-4 weeks with a liquid fertiliser. Just a few drops added to water is sufficient. Avoid using full-strength mixtures as this can damage the roots.


Repot in Spring if the roots have filled your pot and are becoming root-bound. Split the fern into 2 plants and pot them both on. Read more articles here.