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Choosing a Fern for the Bathroom

The bathroom is an ideal environment for ferns. They generally love the humidity, and their delicate fronds soften the lines of ceramic, metal and glass.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
Feed Indoor Ferns with Balanced Liquid FertilizerHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • decorative containers
  • plastic pots that fit inside
  • pieces of plastic
  • houseplant potting mix
  • slow-release fertilizer granules
  • gravel or moss
  • maidenhair fern
  • bird's nest fern

Pot Up the Ferns

If you bought your ferns in pots that fit into your decorative containers, simply add slow-release fertilizer granules to the potting mix. If not, repot them. In a new plastic pot, put a few pieces of plastic in the base, then add a layer of potting mix. Tip a fern out of its old pot and place it on top. Fill in around it with more potting mix and fertilizer granules.

Siting and Aftercare

Fit the potted ferns into your containers, add a layer of gravel or moss on top of the potting mix. Water the maidenhair fern well throughout the year; the leaves will shrivel if the potting mix dries out. The bird's nest fern needs plenty of water in spring and summer, but keep the potting mix just moist in the winter months.

Fern Choices

Most, but not all, ferns like the moist conditions in a bathroom, so check individual plant labels before buying. Match your plants with smooth ceramic, glass or rust-proof metal containers that contrast well with the textured fronds.

Foliage Effects

For large bathrooms, the spreading, bushy foliage of a dwarf tree fern works well, but if your space is limited, try small, slow-growing brake or button ferns.

Dwarf tree fern (image 1); silver lace fern ‘Evergemiensis’ (image 2); button fern (image 3)

  • Dwarf Tree Fern has Scaly Fishbone FrondsHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010
  • Evergemiensis has Lovely Lace Like TexturesHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010
  • Button Fern Most Often Grown as HouseplantHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Adaptable Ferns

Asparagus ferns, with their feathery foliage, look delicate but are deceptively easy to keep. They are not, in fact, true ferns at all, and adapt to a wide range of conditions. If you opt for a hanging basket, the tree-dwelling staghorn fern will provide a focal point.

Asparagus fern 'Nanus'(image 1); asparagus fern 'Myersii' (image 2); staghorn fern (image 3)

  • Asparagus Fern Adapts to Wide Range of ConditionsHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010
  • Asparagus Myersii has Stems Like Bottle BrushesHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010
  • Foliage of Staghorn Fern Resembles Stag AntlersHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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