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Ferns are known to be difficult for plants. They’re known to be incredibly hard to grow. Commonly referred to as picky, diva, plants, and absolutely horrible house plants. The absolute nightmare of all plants “Don’t ever get a fern.” is what they will tell you. But what’s really happening is they’re getting the wrong ferns. We have a list today of easy ferns for you, especially if you live in a higher-humidity environment.
These ferns are very easy to care ferns. Some of them even like to dry out. I know it’s crazy because you always hear with the fern care guides out there, never let the fern dry out. “Never let it touch sunlight”, “have it hidden in the dark corner recesses of your room”, and “It is a no-light plant” are all common phrases associated with the care of ferns. None of these things are true for all ferns.
Ferns have been around since the dawn of the dinosaurs. They literally survived an extinction-level event. They are epic, hardcore plants, and there are definitely some that can handle being inside a home, and we’re going to talk about those today.
Lemon Button Fern
First up is a Lemon Button Fern. These are freaking cute. These are the most adorable plants ever. Not a button fern, because those are high-humidity terrarium plants. But a lemon button fern looks very different from a button fern. They do have thinner, circular foliage, and almost like scalloped edges on their fronds. It’s super cute. And they don’t need higher humidity. They just like to be watered quite a bit. So as long as you let them be in a cache pot or you let them sit in a little saucer of water, they are good to go.
Astral Gem Fern
This Fern looks very similar to a lot of the very lacy ferns that you’ll see out in the wild. However, the Astral Gem Fern is more succulent than most of them. For example, if you felt a Boston fern, an Astral Gem Fern is almost three times the thickness of that. They just hold on to so much more water. They’re very juicy plants. They look delicate because they have little scalloped edges at the end of their fronds, and they’re just super cute as far as that goes, like little ruffles and whatnot. Very fun to watch unfurl as well. They look almost alienesque when they’re unfurling, but they’re very thick for a fern.
Because they can hold on to this extra water, that means they can go longer without being watered. You can let this fern dry out. They can handle higher light because they have more moisture in their foliage. If they start to burn, you’ll notice that just the edges of the tips are going to crisp up a little bit. You just trim those off and move it to lower light, it recovers just fine. Even if you let it dry out quite a bit and it has kind of wilted over and appears all sad, it’s like a Fittonia, give it some water, and it perks right back up. It is just fine like nothing ever happened. It’s amazing.
Rabbit Foot Fern
Some people say they look like spider legs while others say they look like rabbits’ feet. They are brown rhizomes that are above-ground roots. They soak up moisture and they help prevent the plant from drying out too much. Also, they also have little hairs on them to trap that moisture and nutrients in there. So, that’s why this plant is actually a more hearty version of a fern and can tolerate so much.
You can let this fern dry out too. It does like a little bit of higher humidity, 40% or higher generally, because its foliage is very thin. However, they can dry out quite a bit because those rhizomes will hold onto that water. They’re not high-maintenance ferns.
If you notice that all the foliage dies off because you neglected it too much, the rhizomes are still there. As long as they’re not rotted or dried out and crumbly, they will come back. Just keep giving it water like normal and give it a little bit more light. The plant will grow back good as new.
Blue Star Fern
Similar to the rabbit’s foot fern is the blue star fern, also known as a bear paw fern. They have these small, fuzzy, orange, rhizomes at the base. They’re orange and white. Then the plant has beautiful blue leaves. They will change the shape of their foliage as they mature, and they’ll start to add extra little bits on their fronds. It is fascinating to see. If you’re into philodendrons because you like the way the foliage changes as it matures, then you will like a blue star fern as well.
The number one easiest fern out there. They can dry out. They do not need water that often. Also, they do not need high humidity. They grow quickly and in high humidity, but they don’t need it. I know people in deserts that are growing this fern. It is incredible.
They are epiphytic ferns, so they like to draw in the nutrients around them. They do not need to stay in a pot. You can mount them on a board and hang them on your wall. They grow on trees in tropical areas. Especially places like Florida, where it’s warm and humid. They’ll grow under the tree’s foliage and up against the trunk of the tree. They can get massive.
There are so many different kinds of staghorn ferns out there as well. This can determine their size. They don’t need a lot of care. You can give them brighter light. They’re used to tropical Florida light, and you can just let them kind of relax and enjoy their place in your home wherever you decide to put them. They can handle low light or high light. Also, they can handle water or no water. They can handle being on a wall, or they can handle being in a pot. A very easy care fern.
Now, I know you were waiting for the ferns to avoid. What ferns are you to stay away from because they will be horrific and are sure to die? In a beginner fern parents’ care, maiden hair ferns. Generally, any fern with very thin stems, very thin foliage, no rhizomes, and not epiphytic ferns. These types of ferns have attributes that make them very difficult to care for. They are going to need higher humidity, like 60%or higher to be happy. They are also going to be picky about light and temperature needs. They’re just going to be very particular in everything.
These ferns are worth the time and effort. They’re just difficult to take care of for beginner plant parents and beginner fern parents specifically.
Hopefully, this made ferns a little less scary and intimidating. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas of ferns to try in the future and enables you to give them a chance. They’re incredible plants. They are just not a one-size-fits-all kind of care plant like we’ve been led to believe. There are a variety of ferns out there. One kind of fern for every person in every type of condition, for sure.
Hopefully, this makes you as excited about ferns as we are and helps you avoid any ferns that are going to be just too difficult for you. The best plant tip we can give is to have realistic expectations and realistic care knowledge for the specific fern that you get.