Sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)


It seemed like yesterday when our repertoire of indoor plants began to take shape one plant after another. Of all the plants that we have been writing about, the ferns have been relegated to oblivion and as we have realized, we are going to comment on the important points of the city of one of the most famous. The House Fern or Sword Fern .


Ferns There are a great number of them and quite possibly prettier than the sword fern. Ferns are a very curious and unique class of the plant kingdom that requires separate study. Even today their phylogeny is studied to determine exactly their origin and evolution as well as to correctly locate them within the plant kingdom . Their reproductive and vital forms are quite different from the rest of the plant kingdom as we know it.

These particularities make ferns plants that require very specific environmental conditions to develop normally. In fact, not all of them can be cared for indoors. So why is the Sword Fern so famous?

  • In the first place, because it is a fern that is considered easy to grow indoors taking into account the difficulty of its relatives. Among other benefits, it is the most resistant to drought and that is a very positive point.
  • Secondly, because within that facility, it is a green, leafy, elegant fern with aptitude to be grown as a hanging plant , a very ornamental characteristic that is used very well indoors.
  • Third, the fern has always been associated with a plant that transmits good vibrations in the room that contains it and is recommended for studies, offices and places where we develop mental activities.

The Sword Fern forms a large rosette of long fronds with numerous leaflets that can, on occasions, exceed a meter in length and rarely 2 meters in optimal natural conditions, in the case of monstrously large specimens. Although it may seem like a “not very aggressive” plant, the truth is that in certain regions of the world it is considered invasive (South Africa for example). In Spain we have consulted the list of invasive species and it does not appear, so there are no problems in this regard.



It is a fern that although it is classified as resistant to temperatures of about 0ºC, it is not advisable to take it to those extremes. Its optimum range of temperatures are those of the home. Around 19-21ºC. Winters and heating are not good combinations. The heat from the radiator dries out the environment and it will be necessary to spray the foliage and place a tray with wet pebbles. Rooms with higher humidity such as bathrooms (with natural light) are a recurring place for this fern.


It is a fern that tolerates shady environments but its best growth and development will be obtained in bright places but with filtered or indirect light . Never direct. We recall that ferns generally develop under the shelter of large forests that filter the light. We have to imitate these conditions as much as possible.


It requires a soil very rich in organic matter and with good drainage . Waterlogging is fatal for this plant. It should have a constant humidity


Irrigation must never be applied from above. The best way to water a fern is with a dish of water under the pot. In this way the water will soak the substrate by capillarity, so that the sword fern can assimilate it at its own pace.

Although it is said to be one of the most resistant to drought, we must bear in mind that we are talking about ferns, not cacti. The term drought must be considered with other scales. In summer it requires more watering . In winter the risks will decrease but we have to be careful with the humidity. Heating dries up the environment a lot.


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