Boston Fern: Plants that Detoxify the Air - Healthy Indoor Plants

Boston Fern


Plants that Detoxify the Air


Boston FernThe Boston fern is a very popular house plant, often grown in hanging baskets or similar conditions.

  • The Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is the most efficient plant at removing formaldehyde from the air (the most common indoor air pollutant) and for adding humidity to the indoor environment.

  • Although considered non-toxic, this plant can cause allergic reactions in some pets: Prolonged contact with lesions that were pruritic, with erythema, vesicles, scaling, and periungual swelling.



It is grown strictly for its foliage for it does not produce flowers.



  • Propagation: This plant is usually propagated by division of the rooted runners, as named cultivars will not produce true spores.

  • Watering: Of the common cultivated ferns, the Boston fern is the most tolerant to drought, although this fern thrives best in humid conditions, so when grown as a house plant it becomes necessary to mist the plant when relative humidity falls below around 80%.

  • Light: Although outdoors this plant prefers partial shade or full shade, inside it grows best in bright filtered light / semi-sun to shade.

  • Temperature: This is a perennial plant hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11. Although the fern may appear totally dead due to frost, it will re-emerge in the spring.

  • Soil: Boston fern likes damp, but not soggy soil that is rich in nutrients.



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