Ferns are a specific type of plant that do not produce flowers or seeds, reproducing instead through the use of spores. Estimates vary on the exact number of Ferns in the world, but there are thought to be around 51 families, containing around 331 genera (groups of species) of plants commonly known as Ferns. There are thought to be between 10-15,000 species, however estimates vary and new species and cultivars are discovered or bred every year. Ferns may be terrestrial and thus grow in or on the soil, these are usually rhizomatous. Many Ferns are epiphytic and able to grow without the need for soil substrate, instead gleaning nutrition from their immediate surroundings. Some are lithophytes, these plants grow without soil on or in rocks. Care instructions depend on the genera and species. When you buy a Fern, research what the species' natural environment is like and try to replicate that at home. Some like it warm and wet, some cooler and dryer, some are tender and others will cope with frost, so a little homework is needed! Fern Plants are grown for the foliage, they range greatly in size, from tiny ferns to huge Tree Ferns. Some notable Ferns often grown as houseplants are the Boston or Sword Ferns, both from the Nephrolepis genus. Ferns from the Asplenium genus are also popular houseplants, many are known commonly as Bird's Nest Ferns. Fern Plants vary hugely in their appearance - they are usually perennial plants which produce a wide range of different textures, shapes and colours of foliage. Ferns generally produce large leaves which are highly divided and referred to as fronds. Spores are usually produced on the undersides of fronds. Ferns in the Adiantum genus are commonly known as Maidenhair Ferns, after their delicate fronds. Ferns are commonly grown as attractive foliage houseplants. You can find out more in-depth care information for many different Fern plants on their individual plant profiles.