Ferns, with their delicate woodland magic, can seem a bit intimidating to grow. But if you've ever yearned for maidenhairs, bird's nests, and other whimsically-named ferns, this is the best time of year to welcome one into your home. Winter's frequent rains, high humidity, and cloudy-but-bright skies are perfect for ferns. They love it, and will respond enthusiastically with dainty new fronds. Here are a few of their turn-ons and turn-offs to help get you started. Please note! I am not a plant-expert, merely a fern-enthusiast. I have 6 large ferns in my San Francisco apartment, most of which I've had for over 4 years. Flora Grubb always has an amazing fern selection, and the gardeners there will be able to tell you exactly what your new baby fern needs to thrive.
- Bright, filtered light Overcast days provide the ideal light- just remember that sunny summer weather has a tendency to show up randomly in San Francisco, so don't keep your ferns in a spot where they'll be burned if the sun breaks through the clouds.
- Fog & Mist Ferns always enjoy a good misting, even on the most humid days. They can't get enough! They especially love when you take hot showers or boil water.
- Winter in Summer When summer rolls around next year (we hope!), it's crucial to maintain these same conditions. On sunny days, white curtains filter light nicely. Without the constant rain, ferns will need more frequent misting & watering. One bright hot day can whither a thirsty plant, so constant vigilance is essential.
Image: Tess Wilson