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PlantFiles: Boston Fern
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis'

Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Nephrolepis (nef-roh-LEP-iss) (Info)
Species: exaltata (eks-all-TAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Bostoniensis

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Aug 16, 2008, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is sometimes confused with Sword Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia In fact, some unscrupulous or uninformed sellers will actually be selling N. cordifolia in hanging baskets labeled as "Boston Fern" when it is actually Sword Fern. There are several botanical differences between the leaf structure of the two ferns, but the differences are generally so small that only a trained eye would recognize one from the other. However, one glaring difference makes it easy to tell them apart. The N. cordifolia (invasive Sword Fern) has spherical tubers on the roots; N. exaltata 'Bostoniensis' does not have these round tubers. Before buying anything labeled as "Boston Fern," I would recommend lifting the fern from its pot or hanging basket in order to inspect the roots to see if the round tubers are present. If the round tubers are there. the plant is most likely Sword Fern and is being misrepresented as Boston Fern.



This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Knights Landing, California
Apopka, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Macclenny, Florida
Indianapolis, Indiana
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Herndon, Virginia

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