9 Top Ferns to Grow as Houseplants

Ferns offer a wide range of colors and textures. Try these versatile houseplants in your home.


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Crocodile Fern
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Crocodile Fern

    We love this fern's interesting texture. The bright green fronds have a decidedly reptilian look and it's not tough to see where the common name comes from. It makes a bold statement: At maturity, each frond can reach 3 feet long.

    Name: Microsorium musifolium 'Crocodyllus'
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

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Lemon Button Fern

    Lemon button fern produces cute, golden-green fronds with rounded edges (that give it the buttonlike appearance). It's an easy-to-grow fern that fits in well with a lot of decorating styles.

    Name: Nephrolepis cordifolia 'Lemon Button'
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

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Maidenhair Fern

    Among the most loved ferns, maidenhairs offer fine-textured fronds on black stalks. The arching fronds emerge light green and darken a bit as they age.

    Name: Adiantum raddianum 'Fritz Luth'
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Rabbit's-Foot Fern

    This slow-growing fern offers dark green, fine textured fronds and fuzzy stems that creep down over the pot or along the soil. These stems are what gives the fern its delightful common name.

    Name: Humata tyermanii
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Staghorn Fern

    Among the most spectacular of ferns, staghorns don't need to be grown in soil so you often see them mounted and grown on walls or posts. They offer deep green, antlerlike fronds that definitely make a statement in your home's decorating scheme.

    Name: Platycerium bifurcatum
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 6 feet tall and wide

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Bird's Nest Fern

    Another of our favorites, bird's nest fern is a slow-growing plant with bright green fronds that radiate from the center of the plant, creating a vase or bird's nest shape. It's versatile and easy to grow.

    Name: Asplenium nidus
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 5 feet tall and wide (but usually 1-2 feet indoors)

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Silver Brake Fern

    Create a distinctive look in your home with this fern. The crested fronds are almost spidery and bear a bright silvery stripe down the center.

    Name: Pteris cretica 'Mayi'
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Kangaroo Paw Fern

    This interesting fern offers shiny, dark green fronds in an unkempt mound reminiscent of Medusa's hair. Like rabbit's-foot fern, it bears creeping stems that may grow down the side of its container!

    Name: Microsorium diversifolium
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Boston Fern

    The most common indoor fern, Boston ferns are long-lived plants that can reach more than 5 feet tall and wide at maturity (though indoors they rarely reach that size). Fern breeders have released a large number of varieties -- from selections with golden fronds to fantastically frilled fronds. Shown here is 'Fluffy Ruffles'.

    Name: Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles'
    Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
    Size: To 7 feet tall and wide (but usually 2-3 feet tall and wide indoors)

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