Boston ferns need to be grown in continually moist soil, so a well-draining soil is essential to prevent problems with waterlogged soil and root rot. For Boston ferns kept as houseplants, allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before you water it again. Some people recommend routinely soaking the plant heavily once a month to ensure its water needs get met.
The lighting requirements of your Boston fern will depend on whether you are growing it indoors or outdoors, as well as the season. In general, Boston ferns need a few hours of bright, indirect light each day in order to thrive, but too much intense light will scorch the fronds, so it’s important to also offer some shade. A position of dappled light would be best for the Boston fern as a houseplant as this mimics the natural environment of the plant.
Boston ferns like to be grown in cool, but not cold climates. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60-75º F, making it ideal for growing year-round as a houseplant. It can be kept outside during spring and summer as long as it is in a sheltered position where it won’t get too hot. The plant can tolerate short bouts of cold weather, but not sustained temperatures of less than 50º F.
This plant responds well to trimming and can tolerate severe pruning. Perform an annual reshape or trim in spring when the plant is entering its active growth period, as this is when it will respond best. You can cut your fern right back to the base if you wish to ‘start again,’ or you can prune it to improve the shape or encourage more bushy growth.