Bird’s Nest Fern

Fern, Birds Nest

With its long, leathery, crinkled green fronds that sprout from a central rosette, a Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) is a show-stopper of a houseplant.

When viewed from the top, you can see their fronds come together at the center to form a cozy nest-like crown. That’s what gives the plant its name.

Members of the Aspleniaceae family, Bird’s Nest Ferns are epiphytes—meaning they can grow without soil on other surfaces like buildings or tree trunks. At home, you can either plant these in planters, attach them to planks or even hang them on a wall.

These ferns are one of the best air-purifying plants around. Their ripple-edged fronds are extremely efficient at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and also in filtering out harmful gases such as xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene.

Wondering how to care for a Bird’s Nest Fern or how often to water a Bird’s Nest Fern? Generally, you only need to water them once a week.

Crispy Wave, Osaka, Antiquum, and Victoria are some of the Bird’s Nest Fern varieties that are widely available.

Bird’s Nest Fern Care

Light and Temperature Requirements – Bird’s Nest Fern light requirements range from medium to low indirect light. The amount of light these ferns receive affects the shape of their leaves; more light exposure means more crinkled leaves and less light results in flatter leaves. Direct sunlight can cause their fronds to turn yellow and die. Bird’s Nest Ferns love warm temperatures between 60 -80°F and can even tolerate temperatures up to 50°F.

Soil Conditions – Bird’s Nest Ferns prefer loose well-draining soil that remains evenly moist. Peat moss and all-purpose potting soil are good soil choices for this fern.

Water Requirements – Water it slowly, allowing the water to soak well before adding more water. Poke your finger into the soil and if you feel that the top 1”-2“are dry and the soil below that is slightly moist, then it’s time for you to water your ferns again. Never let the soil completely dry out between successive waterings. Do not water the center of your plant as water accumulates there, causing it to rot.

Food Requirements – Fertilize once a month during their active growing season (April through September). Reduce a balanced (20-20-20) liquid fertilizer to half strength and apply this to the soil and not the fronds. Never overuse fertilizer as this can cause the fronds to be irregularly shaped or turn yellow or brown.