Ferns are Excellent Houseplants

Ferns are excellent houseplants for low light locations. They are strictly a foliage plant, but possess many varieties of color, texture, and habit. Foliage ranges in appearance from delicate and airy to dense and dramatic.

Squirrel's Foot Fern

Rabbit’s Foot Fern

There are ferns with fuzzy rhizomes that reach out of the pot like little feet. Rabbit’s Foot fern is just one such variety with very fine dark green foliage. An elegant bold textured group of ferns is the Bird’s Nest fern with broader leaves and medium green color. Many varieties with different sized leaves add great interest to a room with little light.

Ferns prefer rich, organic potting soil with good drainage. Indirect light is important so ferns do well in a north or east facing window as they are likely to burn in the direct sunlight of a southern or western exposure. High humidity is especially important and varieties like Maidenhair, Staghorn, and Boston fern will suffer without adequate moisture. Misting regularly helps to increase humidity.

Bird's Nest Fern

Bird’s Nest Fern

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

Overfeeding can be problematic. Once a month fertilizing at half strength is adequate. If you have not grown ferns before, start with Bird’s Nest, Holly, Rabbit’s Foot, or Brake ferns. As always, you can count on Waterloo Gardens to provide the help you need to get started.

We have a great selection of ferns in our greenhouse and once you get started, you will want one of every variety!


Why Buy a Houseplant?


These cold dreary months can drag on without something new and colorful to remind us that winter is only a matter of weeks and spring will most certainly come. Perhaps you will spend a month in Hawaii basking in the sun but if that is not on your calendar this year, Waterloo Gardens has a solution.

Houseplants not only wake up a room but they are also efficient air purifiers. All plants add oxygen and create a healthier indoor environment, and some plants provide additional added benefits by removing toxins from the air.

The choices in houseplants have increased exponentially over the last several years and in addition to amazing foliage color there are now a number of plants you can enjoy inside for their flowers as well.

All your concerns about choosing the right plant and learning the correct way of caring for it will be addressed by one of our houseplant experts. The sheer enjoyment of a cozy warm tropical experience awaits you when you enter our lush and colorful Greenhouse.

While you are here, check out the schedule of classes we have each weekend for additional information on growing and maintaining houseplants.

Top Five Easy Care Houseplants


This cold and dreary weather is torture for an outdoor gardener, but there is a cure for those of us itching to exercise our green thumbs. Houseplants add instant vitality to your home. The trouble is that those who have the most success in their yards often cannot seem to grow anything well inside.

Do not give up! There really are some easy plants that you will grow to love in just a few weeks. Consider these five:

* Pothos is a low maintenance vine often confused with the heartleaf philodendron. The variegated foliage adds interest in a hanging basket, climbing up a structure, or just left to crawl over a tabletop or mantel.

* Snake plant is a care-free succulent plant that tolerates neglect extremely well. There are tall forms or shorter bird’s-nest types available. Be sure to avoid over-watering or the plant will develop root rot.

* English Ivy is one of my favorites. This versatile vine with deep green or variegated foliage should be set on a shelf or mantel where its stems can trail down. For a more formal effect, train the stems onto a topiary form (or purchase one already done for you at Waterloo Gardens).

* ZZ plant, sometimes called the eternity plant for its longevity, is a succulent that tolerates low light and minimal care. The shiny, thick fleshy leaves are so durable you might mistake them for plastic. It grows slowly, so select a larger plant for more impact.

* Rubber Tree is a classic houseplant that eventually grows very large unless you prune it back to keep it shorter and fuller. The big shiny leaves definitely make a dramatic statement.

Of course these plants have different cultural care in terms of light, food, and water necessities. Ask one of the experts in our greenhouse department for specific instructions on the plant of your choice and become a successful indoor gardener!