Jester Crown Fern 6 Part Complete Care Guide
The Jester Crown Fern is a plant of many names. It is scientifically known as Nephrolepis exaltata, but you may have heard it referred to as a Boston fern, Sunjest Jester’s Crown, or Sword Fern. This ancient plant can be found in the rainforests of Australia and New Guinea. It may even be one of the oldest plants on earth!
The Jester Crown Fern is made up of dense, sturdy, deep green fronds that arch out from the base. This indoor fern makes a lovely addition to any tabletop or windowsill.
Watering Your Jester Crown Fern
Obtaining the right watering balance of the Jester Crown Fern is very important. The soil needs to be moist, but not saturated with water. A waterlogged fern can develop fungal diseases. Look out for yellowing leaves. This is a sign of overwatering. It is best to thoroughly water the fern with room temperature water when the top three inches of soil are dry.
The most important factor related to watering this plant is making sure it is exposed to high levels of humidity.
Light and Humidity
This fern houseplant needs plenty of bright indirect sunlight. Direct sun will make the fronds burn up quickly. Partial shade will make the fronds sparse and limp. Humidity is the Jester Crown Fern’s best friend. Make sure to mist the fronds daily with a mister. This will help your fern thrive.
If you live in a dry environment, it can help to place your fern in the bathroom or kitchen when humidity levels tend to be higher. Alternatively, you can move other plants around the fern to increase humidity.
In extreme cases, it is helpful to place your fern houseplant on top of a tray with pebbles and water. Don’t let the container sit in the water, but just slightly above it. As the water evaporates, the soil will absorb it and welcome the much-needed moisture.
Soil and Fern Fertilizer
The Jester Crown Fern does best in a peaty, soil-based potting mix. Keep the soil moist and well-drained. Compared to many houseplants, the Jester Crown Fern does not need much fern fertilizer. Standard indoor houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength is plenty. Make sure to fertilize sparingly (this is a good fertilizer with which to start!). Usually, 2-3 times a year is enough for fertilizing a fern houseplant.
For more information about caring for ferns be sure to check out our 2021 Fern Care Guide
Cleaning and Pruning Your Fern Houseplant
Excess dust can affect plant growth, so dust your Jester Crown Fern regularly with a soft brush. Routine pruning of discolored leaves can be done at any time. Make sure to remove the whole stem all the way to the base. Simply snip the frond at the soil line with a clean pair of clippers.
Severe pruning is recommended once a year. This promotes healthier, prolific growth, so your fern gets stronger the longer you have it.
The Jester Crown Fern is an easy plant to propagate. Gently tug on a healthy shoot until it comes out of the soil. It is okay if there are no roots because they will soon develop when the shoot is planted.
Place the shoot upright into a pot with a peaty soil mix then lightly water it. Move the pot to a spot where it will receive indirect sunlight. You can even put a plastic bag over the top to ensure a humid environment. Remove this bag with new growth is visible.
Repotting an Indoor Fern
Jester Crown Ferns are repotted to encourage growth. In the wild, these ferns can develop 5 foot long fronds, so they will outgrow their container every few years. If your fern seems to stop growing or if the roots are coming through the drainage hole of the container, it is time to repot your fern. First, make sure to water your plant a few days before you plan to repot it in order to ensure easy removal.
Next, fill your new container with 3 inches of fresh potting soil. It is best to use a container 2 to 3 inches wider than your old container. Too much space increases the likelihood of root rot. Then, take the fern in one hand, while you tilt its container with your other hand. Gently slide the fern into the new container. Fill in with potting soil, then pat down to remove the air pocket. Water thoroughly, and move the repotted fern houseplant to a spot with indirect sunlight.
Conclusion and Problems
The Jester Crown Fern is a low-maintenance plant once the proper environment is achieved. It can live for years with proper care. Humidity is key to fern happiness. Overwatering can lead to root rot and yellow leaves. Too much direct light will burn up the fronds.
They do not need much fern fertilizer and can be susceptible to some pests, but this is rare. In the event of a flare-up of pests, a strong neem oil is your best defense. This ancient foliage can make a wonderful addition to any home.
Looking for another low light and easy care plant? Check out the dieffenbachia Camille – dumb cane!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you care for a Jester Crown Fern?
The Jester Crown Fern is an easy to care for houseplant fern. It’s simple, just follow our complete care recommendations as outlined in this guide!
Is a Jester’s Crown Fern safe for cats?
Yes! Ferns are not toxic to cats. However, we won’t promise that your feline friend isn’t going to have too much fun playing with it.
How do you propagate a Jester Crown Fern?
The Jester Crown Fern is a fairly easy plant to propagate. Similar to other plants, you will simply need to gently tug on a shoot of the fern until it separates from the stem. Place the cutting in a bit of soil and care for it as we have described in this care guide.
How do you take care of a Kangaroo Paw Fern?
The care plan for a Kangaroo Paw Fern is similar to the Jester Crown Fern so you can follow this guide for proper maintenance of this plant as well.
How do you water a Jester Crown Fern?
A Jester Crown Fern thrives with thorough watering and a high humidity environment. Though be careful of overwatering, a waterlogged fern is no fun!
How often should you water Button Ferns?
You should water Button Ferns regularly. We recommend weekly unless you are facing extreme heat which may mean more frequent waterings.