How to Grow a Indoor Fern Garden
A fern garden can make a beautiful addition to any home. By combining various types of ferns into one location or strewn throughout a room, you will obtain an impressive and natural decorative effect.
Ferns are one of the most common indoor plants as they are very hardy and easy to care for. Proof of their hardiness comes from the fact that they are one of the world`s oldest plants dating back to the Palezoic era (approximately 400 million years ago).
There are more than 10,500 species of fern to choose from but not all are suitable for indoor use.
Step 1: The Environment
Ferns love humidity so you will want to create an environment for your fern garden that offers lots of humidity. A terrarium is a great humid rich environment for ferns to thrive in.
Step 2: Preparing the Terrarium
You will need a coarse soil that is full of nutrients. Place a layer of soil in the bottom of the terrarium, and mix it with some type of moss—organic leaf mold, sphagnum moss or peat moss—to help the soil retain moisture.
Step 3: The Location
Ferns are very hardy plants that do not require much sunlight. Place the terrarium in a location that would provide about 4 hours of indirect sunlight per day. Do not locate it near a heat source as it would dry out the soil too quickly.
Step 4: Types of Ferns
Small ferns that grow to approximately 4 inches should be used in a terrarium.
The best type of ferns for indoor use are Boston Fern, Crocodile Fern, Lemon Button Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Rabbit's-Foot Fern, Staghorn Fern, Bird's Nest Fern, Silver Brake Fern and Kangaroo Paw Fern.
Step 5: Planting Your Fern Garden
Plant the ferns strategically throughout the terrarium and water them. Leave a little room for growth between each of the plants.
Step 6: Caring for Your Indoor Fern Garden
The soil should be kept slightly moist at all times but never wet. It also helps to mist the ferns on occasion to keep the humidity level up, especially during the winter months when it tends to be dryer in a home.
Fern plants should receive a dose of half-strength household fertilizer every month during their growing season which is from early spring to late fall.
You should inspect the plants for insects and webs on a regular basis as ferns are prone to insect infestations. If you notice the leaves are getting brown spots, yellowing or wilting it is likely an insect infestation or a disease. If this is the case, the plants will need to be treated immediately with a household fungicidal spray.
Fern plants will need to be re-potted every few years or when they have grown too large for the terrarium. Relocate them to another terrarium or to a different container. You also have the option to split them into a few plant and re-pot them.