How Do I Care for a Maidenhair Fern Indoors?

Grow maidenhair ferns indoors and appreciate their delicate foliage and lush growth. Leaves grow in various shades of green, with the exact shade dependent on the variety. Like most ferns, the maidenhair thrives in low light conditions, making it a suitable choice in rooms where there isn't much direct sunlight. A tropical plant, these ferns are deciduous outdoors but inside they remain green year-round. Maidenhair ferns put on most of their new growth in spring and summer, then go semidormant during the winter months.

Plant maidenhair ferns in 6- to 8-inch diameter pots filled with a potting soil that is rich in organic material. Use a pot that has at least one drainage hole in the bottom.

Set the pot in an area that receives bright indirect light, such as near an east- or south-facing window. Avoid placing the fern in an area that receives direct sun, as too much light damages the foliage.

Water the fern when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil begins to feel dry. Irrigate at the base of the plant until the excess drains from the bottom of the pot.

Fertilise once monthly with a balanced soluble houseplant fertiliser. Apply the fertiliser at one-quarter the rate recommended on the label. Only water during the spring and summer months when the fern is actively growing.

Remove dead and damaged fronds. Cut these fronds from the plant at the base where they emerge from the main part of the fern.


Maidenhair ferns grow well in both hanging baskets and regular pots. These ferns thrive in humid conditions. Place them in bathrooms or kitchens where higher humidity is normal.


Maidenhair ferns are susceptible to aphids, mites and other insects that commonly plague indoor plants. Check the underside of foliage for insects regularly and treat any infestations with the proper pesticide as soon as an infestation is apparent.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.