Ferns for a dash of greenery in the home

No longer just for grannies, ferns are gaining popularity as a favourite houseplant for urban dwellers.


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Once upon a time, ferns used to be a very popular houseplant, but they faded out of style. Well guess what? Ferns are once again a 'must have' houseplant, especially when many of us live in urban environments and are looking for houseplants that require very little attention but instantly add greenery to a home.

There are many different varieties of ferns and you should be able to find a wide selection at your local garden centre. Some varieties are more popular than others, so you get to choose the ones that fits in with your environment. If you're looking for a way to bring the outdoors into your home, pop into your nearest garden centre and welcome ferns into your home.

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Asparagus Fern

Truly an indigenous houseplant, the asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus) is native to South Africa. You will often find the asparagus fern used as an ornamental plant because of its delicate lacy foliage. Grown indoors the asparagus fern is a wonderful plant to fill up an empty space. Funnily enough, although it is called a fern, asparagus fern is not related to a true fern and is considered an invasive weed in some locations.

You can pot asparagus fern plant in hanging baskets where the delicate fronds hang down to create a wonderful green waterfall, or you can place a potted fern in a bathroom. These plants don't like full sun and prefer a shady spot. These plants are also known from cleaning indoor air, which is perfect for a bathroom needing some fresh greenery and refreshed air.

If you don't place in a bathroom, use a spray bottle to gently mist the foliage from time to time, as these plants do like a bit of humidity.



Maidenhair Fern

One of the most popular varieties of fern is the maidenhair fern. Again, there are many different varieties of maidenhair fern, most with dainty, hanging fronds. These plants love a shady position in the bathroom or kitchen and don't mind being potted up. They thrive indoors if you regularly mist the foliage with a spray bottle.

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maidenhair fern

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South Africans are all for bringing the outdoors indoors, or even for more greenery on a deck or patio, and especially for those with a small balcony. Thanks to the growing popularity of indoor houseplants, many people are looking at adding greenery to their homes, and while the fiddle leaf fig enjoyed its time in the spotlight for 2017, it's time to welcome the humble fern back into our homes.

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Tips for growing ferns indoors

• Don't place in direct sunlight as this will burn the delicate foliage. Ferns like some light and will endure shade.

• Spray the fronds with a light mist of water on a weekly basis and see how your fern thrives. A regular misting will also keep brown leaves at bay.

• Ferns do best in the bathroom close to a window.

• Ferns do require a regular watering so that the soil is always damp. If you don't have a green thumb and tend to forget to water your plants, place the pot in a saucer or tray and fill this on a weekly basis.

• While ferns don't mind being in pots, for maximum growth to occur you should re-pot to a larger pot as the plant grows.