Australian Sword Ferns: Indoor Plants that Detoxify the Air

Australian Sword Fern aka Kimberley Queen Fern


Plants that Detoxify the Air


Australian Sword FernThe Australian Sword Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata) is native to Australia and was introduced to the temperate parts of the United States almost 20 years ago.

This plant looks very attactive in your office, home or garden. They do well in pots or in hanging basket plants. This is a vigorous grower, and the sword shaped leaves remain sturdy in windy areas. They grow to about 24-36 in. (60-90 cm).


Planting & Care Requirements:

  • Propagation: By dividing the rootball or from spores
  • Planting: Plant in ~ 6” pots as a tablefern, 8” and 10” baskets as a hanging basket; or in 1 and 3 gallon containers for the landscape.
    • This is a great fern for filling in an area in the garden or as a border along paths and flower beds. Plant at 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm) intervals.
    • They also make great hanging basket plants, as older fronds do not shed as pro-fusely as some other baskets.
  • Potting Mix: This is often dictated by what is available locally. The key elements are low salts and excellent drainage. Some peat helps to retain fertilizer salts and keep water available to the roothairs.
  • Light Requirement: Partial to full shade, but can take full morning sun.
  • Temperatures: 60º to 85º F. Survives temperatures well above and below but growth slows or stops altogether. In the landscape it is semi-hardy plant that survives temperatures into the low 20’s.
  • Fertilization: 100 to 150 ppm on constant feed (like Excel 15-5-15) with available Ca, Mg & pH around 6.0.
  • Water: More ferns are harmed by overwatering than holding back on the water. Water well then allow to dry lightly before watering again. Do not allow to completely dry out.
  • Pest Control: This fern is generally resistant to pests.
  • Hardiness Zones:
    USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
    USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
    USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
    USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
    USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
  • Soil pH Requirements:
    • 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
    • 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral



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