The most popular fern for home decoration is the Boston (Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis), which comes in more forms than the other fern classes. Some grow leaves only eight inches long, while other kinds reach four to five feet.
Other interesting ferns for indoor use are small brake fern (Pteris), which features wiry leave. If you want a Victoria brake fern (Pteris victoriae), with its jade green fronds stripes silvery white, you will probably find it among plants sold for terrariums. This does not mean you must grow in terrarium, though, it’s beautiful anywhere.
Maidenhair fern (Adiantum) is a small type having wiry leaf stems with long fronds radiating from them in spoke fasion. Small, fan-shaped leaflets line each spoke.
Asplenium, another plant group from which a number of handsome ferns come, includes bird’s-nest fern (Asplenium nidus). Its bright green, lance-shaped leaves are whole rather than feathery, and arise stiffly in a whorl from a crown.
Asplenium myriophyllum, a lacy fern, puts up fronds of 6 to 15 inches and is suitable to grow in a cool greenhouse. Japanese holly-fern (Cyrtonium falcatum ‘Rochefordianum’) gets its common name from the stiff, varnished look of its 8 – to 10 – inch fronds. It’s easier to grow than the Boston fern and makes less demand for high humidity.
Staghorn fern (Platycerium vassei), with its antler-shaped leaves, never fails to attract attention. Its grows naturally on trees, so in cultivation attach it to a ball of sphagnum on aboard and hang it up.
In nature,fern grow where light intensity is low. In the home, ferns do well under bright light, but not direct sun. in shout and west windows, hang a sheer curtain to dilute the intensity of the sun, but it’s not necessary. Never expose variegated Pteris ferns to sun, just bright light.
Fern like an even moisture supply to thrive (water less during short, dark winter days). On sunny days, mist foliage early in the morning. Don’t mist on dark, damp days, though, or so late in the day that mist remains on leaves overnight. That could invite mold or fungus to form. Once one of these unwelcome guests appears, you might as well destroy the affected plant and start over.
Leaf wilting generally indicates a lack of water. Yellowing, other than that of natural aging or disease, is a sign of excessive moisture or poor drainage. To ensure good drainage for your fern-never allow it to stand in water-use about an inch of clay chips in the bottom of the pot.
To water a staghorn fern, suspend it from a shower head in your bathroom and turn a fine spray of water over the plant, sphagnum, and board. Leave in the shower until dripping stops. Follow this unusual watering procedure twice a week.
Feed ferns with care-once every six month with a slow-release should be enough. If you use a liquid houseplant fertilizer, be careful not to use more than stated on container label. And remember: always water your plants before applying a fertilizer.
Avoid extremes in temperatures and drafty conditions. Keep ferns away from hot air registers. Propagate ferns at any time of year by root division. Ferns dislike heavy soil. Use a commercial mixture high in peat moss, or make your own with two parts peat moss or leaf mold, one part garden loam, and one part perlite or coarse sand. Add a little crushed charcoal to the mixture.
Source : Growing Houseplants