Boston Sword Fern, Wild Boston Fern, Tuber Ladder Fern, Fishbone Fern, Swaardvaring (Afr.)
The swordfern is commonly found in humid forests and swamps, growing best in damp but not soggy soils. It has widely arching fronds with toothed pinnae. Most cultivars are derived from this species, making it very popular as an indoor plant or planted in hanging baskets. The swordfern is often confused with the Tuberous swordfern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) – both are invasive in different parts of South Africa. Nephrolepis exaltata is a problem in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
Pick the green leaves to use in flower arrangements as needed.
Divide the stolon with leaves attached to form new plants.
Sow spores as soon as ripe.
Can tolerate dry spells.
Place in bright filtered light and mist when the humidity is low.
Plant in a moisture retaining potting mix, and keep the mix moist.
Will tolerate wet sites, as long as they are not permanently wet.
Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Soil PH preference
When fronds become too wet, fern scale and rot may be a problem.
Plant in damp shade, with ferns and sub-tropical plants.