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19 Indoor and Outdoor Types of Ferns to Transform Your Space

Types of Ferns, Indoor & Outdoor, to Liven Up Your Space
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Tired of living in the concrete jungle? Why not take inspiration from mother nature herself and liven up your living space with ferns? Even if you don’t exist within the rat race of the concrete jungle, ferns are an excellent way to add some much-needed fervor within the walls we call home.

Not just within but also outside. After all, ferns are just as versatile as they are pretty and varied in terms of aesthetics as well as other characteristics! Not only are they so soul-pleasing in terms of aesthetics, but they also provide us with a much-needed break.

You know, the little time it takes to take care of them, water them, etc., that provides the much-needed relaxation we all crave internally.

With that being said, let’s take a look at 19 beautiful indoor and outdoor types of ferns to truly liven up your living space by adding soul and life to it.

Beautiful Indoor Types of Ferns

1. The Maidenhair Fern

The Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair Ferns are also known as the Adiantum Raddianum. They can further be divided into Northern, Southern, and Western Maidenhair ferns. These are Deciduous ferns, meaning they shed their leaves during a certain time period. Maidenhair ferns have characteristically small and fan-shaped leaves with thin, black stems. They can grow anywhere between 1 to 2 feet in length as well as width.

They are non-flowering in nature and require moist but not soggy soil consistently in order to thrive. They need indirect sunlight to grow since direct sunlight can actually be too harsh on their delicate leaves. These factors make it a wonderful choice among indoor types of ferns.

2. The Bird’s Nest Fern

The Bird’s Nest Fern

The Bird’s Nest Fern is also known as the Asplenium Nidus. They are well known for their beautiful long and light green leaves that showcase a silky smooth gloss. These leaves are arranged in such a way that they resemble a bird’s nest, hence the moniker.

They do well when kept in temperatures ranging from 50 degrees fahrenheit to 72 degrees fahrenheit. For their sheer size, they can actually be kept in small pots. This creates a striking visual contrast that’s an aesthetic delight. This makes it one of the most desirable indoor types of ferns.

3. The Rabbit’s Foot Fern

The Rabbit’s Foot Fern

The Rabbit’s Foot Ferns are also known as the Davallia Fejeensis. These beautiful ferns originate from Fiji. Their name comes from their prominent furry rhizomes or stems. Not only that, but the shape of the small leaves that it has is endearing and resembles green-colored footprints. These are evergreen and perennial ferns that are also usually highly resistant and robust.

They require strictly only indirect sunlight as direct sunlight can harm the furry rhizomes as well as the delicate leaves. These are some of the unique types of ferns there simply because of the ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ or the rhizomes that resemble those. A very special addition to a very special home!

4. The Kimberley Queen Fern

The Kimberley Queen Fern

The Kimberley Queen Fern, also known as the Nephrolepis Obliterata, is a beautiful evergreen fern that is also highly versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Similar to the Boston Fern, these ferns are also marked by their unique, sword-shaped fronds that add a more brutalist aesthetic appeal to your home.

The name originates from the Earl of Kimberley, from the Kimberley region of Australia. The Kimberley queen fern requires a lot of moisture and humidity to thrive. Moist and well-drained soil is a necessity that goes without saying. Thus, the Kimberley Queen Fern is one of the most beautiful types of ferns with quite an interesting history behind its nomenclature.

5. The Staghorn Fern

The Staghorn Fern

Ferns never fail to surprise. The Staghorn Fern, also known as the Platycerium Bifurcatum, is easily one of the most distinctive types of ferns there is. True to its name, the leaves of the Staghorn Fern exactly look like that. Like stag’s horns.

In 1993, the Staghorn Fern was bestowed upon the Royal Horticulture Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Its remarkable appearance lends to it becoming an excellent ornamental decoration at any home. However, they do best when the temperature is on the milder side and can grow to measure up to 3 feet across.

6. The Button Fern

The Button Fern

The Button Fern is also known as the Pellaea Rotundifolia and belongs to the Pteridaceae family. These are beautiful ferns that are compact and cute. The name, of course, comes from the small, button-shaped leaves. They are mostly low maintenance and can even survive on drier soil. They require indirect sunlight, but slightly more of it, compared to their contemporaries.

Button Ferns can withstand temperatures up to 90 degrees fahrenheit but are known to prefer cooler climates generally. Thus, the Button Fern is easily one of the most beautiful types of ferns to add some interesting aesthetics to your home.

7. The Boston Fern

The Boston Fern

The Boston Fern is also known as the Nephrolepis Exaltata. They are highly distinctive ferns and are also named sword ferns due to the sword-like shape of their leaves. Boston Ferns require moist and well-drained soil in order to thrive. They can grow anywhere from 1 to 3 feet in height and from 2 to 3 feet in width.

Boston Ferns are pretty versatile and can be used both as indoor and outdoor ferns. Still, we’ve added it to the list of indoor ferns here because of the unique and distinctive visual aesthetics that it provides, making it a highly sought-after choice for indoor types of ferns.

8. The Delta Maidenhair Fern

The Delta Maidenhair Fern

The Delta Maidenhair Fern is also known as the Adiantum Raddianum. These are smaller than Maidenhair Ferns and may require a terrarium in order to grow and thrive. This is primarily because they require high levels of humidity around them. These are usually on the small side, growing to about 1.5 feet tall.

These are best suited as indoor plants, and even their soft aesthetics are best suited for providing a calm sense of atmosphere indoors. These ferns originate from South America and are becoming quite popular and are some of the most sought-after types of ferns of them all.

9. The Kangaroo Paw Fern

The Kangaroo Paw Fern

The Kangaroo Paw Fern is also known as the Microsorum Diversifolium. They are pretty short but broad in nature. They grow up to 1 foot tall and can grow up to 3 or even 4 feet in width. As the name suggests, the kangaroo Paw Fern originates from Australia and New Zealand.

They are highly versatile types of ferns and can be grown both indoors as well as outdoors. These are generally resilient ferns. These are better suited to warmer climates in comparison to their contemporaries. They are shaped just like a kangaroo’s paw, giving them their distinctive name.

10. The Christmas Fern

The Christmas Fern

The Christmas Fern is also known as the Polystichum Acrostichoides. These are evergreen and perennial ferns. These are known as Christmas ferns because of their penchant for staying green throughout the winter, including Christmas! These ferns originate from North America and have become highly popular these days.

While Christmas ferns are more popular as ornamental garden pieces, we suggest you try them as indoor houseplants, as they can successfully be grown both indoors and outdoors. This, along with the ability to stay green mostly throughout its lifetime, makes the Christmas fern one of the most desirable types of ferns ever.

Beautiful Outdoor Types of Ferns

11. The Royal Fern

The Royal Fern

The Royal Fern is also known as the Osmunda Regalis. Just like the Maidenhair Fern, it is also a deciduous fern. It is capable of growing up to 6 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. They are also known as flowering ferns. This is because of the appearance of its fertile fronds. They require moist soil rich in acidic and organic matter.

‘Osmunda’ is derived from ‘Osmunder,’ which is a Saxon name for the god Thor. The Royal Ferns are one of the largest types of ferns out there, making them suitable to being an excellent choice for outdoor ferns to enhance the external beauty of your living space.

12. The Tassel Fern

The Tassel Fern

The Tassel Ferns are also known as the Polystichum Polyblepharum. These ferns are actually prized for their foliage. They can grow anywhere between 2 to 3 feet in both length as well as width. The larger size makes it very well suited to being one of the most preferred outdoor types of ferns.

The Tassel Ferns thrive the most in well-drained fertile soil rich in humus. These ferns are native to Japan and South Korea. The fronds have golden hair on them and open out in spring, flipping backward for a while, resembling tassels, hence giving them their unique name.

13. The Autumn Fern

The Autumn Fern

Autumn Ferns are also known as the Dryopteris Erythrosora. Known for its reddish and orangish colored fronds that change from green during various times of the year, the Autumn Ferns are an amazing choice. They are a more decorative type of ferns as they can help provide a different range of colors to your garden that varies throughout the year, thereby keeping things fresh and new throughout.

It is a highly resilient type of fern that can easily withstand tropical geographies and warm climates too. However, they do need a little protection from direct sunlight and need to be placed in the more shady areas of your garden for them to thrive the most.

14. The Cinnamon Fern

The Cinnamon Fern

The Cinnamon Fern is also known as the Osmunda Cinnamomea. These are usually between 2 to 3 feet tall and are mostly found in boggy and marshy areas. They grow well in medium to wet soils but need more protection from sunlight in the form of shade from other plants nearby. They are called as cinnamon ferns due to their distinctive fronds that grow in the center, in a cinnamon shade.

These cinnamon-colored fronds are surrounded by other normal-looking green-colored fronds resulting in an amazing visual contrast that makes the cinnamon fern one of the most desirable types of ferns that can be grown outdoors.

15. The Lady Fern

The Lady Fern

The Lady Fern is also known as the Athyrium filix-femina. It is a deciduous and perennial fern native to the United States. These are tall and upright ferns that can grow up to 3 feet in length and just about 1 foot in width. The main characteristic feature of these types of ferns is the pale light green shade the leaves possess.

They are generally low maintenance and are quite hardy in nature. They thrive when grown on moist and well-drained soil. Their resilience and unique shade of color make them an excellent choice for outdoor ferns.

16. The Ostrich Fern

The Ostrich Fern

The Ostrich Fern is also known as the Matteuccia Struthiopteris. These ferns are deciduous in nature and are, in actuality, one of the most common species of ferns. The fronds of the fern resemble ostrich feathers, hence giving them their endearing name. They require soil that is more acidic, moist, and richer in humus.

These types of ferns require more shade than others, and the leaves can show signs of burns when exposed to direct and harsh sunlight for too long. Their fronds just by themselves can grow up to nearly four feet in length. All these factors make the ostrich fern a highly desirable outdoor fern option.

17. The Holly Fern

The Holly Fern

The Holly Fern is also known as Cyrtomium Falcatum. They usually grow up to anywhere between 2 to 3 feet and are known to be incredibly hardy, thanks to their thick and leathery leaves. Just like most of the other ferns, they also thrive in indirect or partial sunlight or in shade, although their thick leaves don’t get sunburnt all too easily.

They grow well in moist soil that’s also loose, well-drained, and fertile. These types of ferns are, thus, highly sought after for their rugged appearance and vibe, which they project to the rest of your garden.

18. The Soft Shield Fern

The Soft Shield Fern

The Soft Shield Fern is also known as the Polystichum setiferum. They are also termed Hedge Ferns. These are tufted evergreen ferns. Their name comes from the fact that the fronds look like individual shields when viewed from above. A truly remarkable sight indeed. A step back in time too!

These are prominently found in England, Ireland, France, and parts of the Mediterranean. True to their name, these types of ferns are extremely hardy too. They do well in moist conditions and have a preference for higher altitudes and humus-rich soil.

19. The Southern Wood Fern

The Southern Wood Fern

The Southern Wood Fern is also known as the Dryopteris Normalis. These are perennial ferns that are actually quite resistant to sunlight and can take a lot more of it compared to their contemporaries. This is provided that the soil is moist and well irrigated.

The Southern Wood Fern grows anywhere between 2 to 3 feet in length and between 1 to 2 feet in width. These types of ferns are not to be planted too deep. Their natural aesthetic works well with other plants in your garden and is versatile enough to complement them effortlessly.

Final Thoughts

Ferns are some of the most wonderful choices, not just for interior decor but also for the outdoor aesthetics of your home. Ferns provide a peaceful and relaxing environment that is just what the doctor ordered. After all, your home can even be a retreat from the harsh trials of the world.

Its scientifically proven that having and taking care of houseplants and engaging in gardening is always highly positive for one’s mental health and is always a highly relaxing as well as rewarding endeavor.

Moreover, houseplants are some of the best ways to reconnect with nature, especially if you exist within the concrete jungle. Hopefully, these ferns provide enough inspiration for you to think about or consider adding ferns to your home.

These 19 beautiful indoor and outdoor types of ferns ensure that your home is always a delightful and peaceful place to be, and they really do liven up your living space after all!

Ava Scott
the authorAva Scott
Ava Scott is a botanist with a Bachelor's in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon. Later, she earned her Master's degree from the University of Cambridge. Having 15 years of experience in horticulture and environmental consulting, she carries a wealth of knowledge in sustainable gardening practices. Before this, she worked with several NGOs focused on urban green spaces. In her spare time, she enjoys pottery and exploring the British countryside. Being an amazing photographer, she loves to capture the beauty of nature in her travels.

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