The Nephrolepis are among the most popular ferns, both in gardens and terraces and indoors. Its ornamental value is very high, but it should also be noted how easy it is to take care of them and keep them healthy.

The growth rate they have is rather fast, but since they do not grow much they are ideal to grow anywhere, whether in the ground or in a pot.

Origin and characteristics

Nephrolepis exaltata Image – Wikimedia/ Mokkie

Our protagonists are plants belonging to the genus Nephrolepis, which is made up of some 30 species native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They can reach heights between 30cm and one meter, with more or less long and bipinnate leaves, green in color.

The most popular species are:

  • Nephrolepis cordifolia: known as serrucho fern, it is a plant native to the tropics of both America and Eurasia. Its leaves or fronds are herbaceous, with petioles 9-18cm long, and it grows up to 40-50cm tall.
  • Nephrolepis exaltata: known as common fern, curly fern or house fern, it is a native plant of tropical regions, where it lives in humid forests. It grows to a maximum height of 40cm.

What are their cares?

Nephrolepis hirsutula Image – Wikimedia/ Tauʻolunga

If you want to have a copy, we advise you to take care of it as follows:

  • Location:
    • Exterior: in semi-shade, protected from the sea wind and frost.
    • Interior: in a bright room, or in an interior patio protected from direct sun.
  • Land:
    • Pot: use substrates rich in organic matter, with good drainage. For example, a good mix might be: 60% mulch + 30% perlite + 10% pumice or akadama.
    • Garden: plant in fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Irrigation: frequent. Water 4 or 5 times in summer, and every 3-5 days the rest of the year.
  • Fertilizer: in spring and summer it is advisable to fertilize it with a fertilizer for green plants (like this one ), or with guano (get it in granules here and liquid, ideal for pots, here ).
  • Multiplication: by spores (difficult) or plant division in spring.
  • Hardiness: it depends on the species, but in general they resist weak frosts of up to -3ºC as long as they are punctual and of short duration.

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