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Drains and lighting are crucial for the variety of plants that can thrive indoors. One such plant – the lemony fern – is similar to moss and loves indirect lighting. If you neglect proper drainage and light for these plants, they’re likely to suffer from diseases and wilting.

When placing your fern in a planter, always ensure the soil is well-draining and moistened. Fill the container with a mixture of well-draining soil and a zesty fertilizer to optimize its growth. Please thoroughly water the fern once a week, being careful not to over-water it. The drainage is key to keeping the soil from becoming too moist and encouraging fungal growth.

If you’re a pet owner, keep in mind that ferns are not pet-friendly plants. They can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. To keep your furry friends safe, it’s best to place the ferns in a location where your pets cannot reach them.

For indoor growers, humidity is the name of the game. Ferns, in particular, thrive in high humidity environments. These dainty plants have delicate leaves that require a consistent humidity level to stay healthy. To ensure optimal humidity, you can place a tray of water near the fern or use a humidifier.

Pruning is a must for ferns to keep them compact and tidy. If you notice any crispy or yellowing leaves, carefully remove them to encourage new growth. The entire plant must be pruned regularly to maintain its shape and appearance.

In conclusion, ferns are a popular choice for indoor plants due to their variety and easy care. With proper drainage, lighting, and humidity, you can enjoy the beauty of these plants in your homes. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance and visually appealing plant, ferns are the perfect solution.

How to Grow and Care for Lemon Button Fern

If you are looking for a low-maintenance indoor plant, the Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) is a great choice. This fern is known for its bright green, little-leaved foliage that resembles buttons, hence the name. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to grow and care for this type of fern.


Lemon Button Ferns prefer bright, indirect light. Placing them near a north or east-facing window is ideal. However, they can tolerate lower light conditions, making them suitable for homes or offices with less natural light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

Temperature and Humidity

Lemon Button Ferns thrive in temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). They appreciate consistent humidity levels, so misting the leaves regularly or placing a tray of water near the plant can help increase humidity. Keep them away from drafts or temperature extremes.


  • Water your Lemon Button Fern once a week or when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  • Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant.
  • If the fronds start to turn crispy, it may be a sign of underwatering. Increase the frequency of watering.

Potting and Substrate

When repotting, use a well-draining potting mix and a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is a good substrate for Lemon Button Ferns. You can also add some compost or organic matter for added nutrients.


During the growing season (spring to early fall), you can fertilize your Lemon Button Fern once a month using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the packaging for the correct dosage.


If your fern starts to become too large or unruly, you can prune it back to maintain its shape. Use clean and sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove any dead or damaged fronds. Pruning can also help stimulate new growth.

Pets and Common Diseases

Lemon Button Ferns are generally safe for cats and dogs. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor your pets and keep the plant out of their reach.

Common diseases that can affect Lemon Button Ferns include root rot, fungal infections, and aphids. To prevent these issues, avoid overwatering, ensure good air circulation, and inspect your plant regularly for any signs of pests or diseases. If needed, treat the plant with appropriate solutions or seek professional help.

By following these care tips, you can enjoy the beauty of the Lemon Button Fern and create a green and inviting space in your home or office.

Lemon Button Fern Care

Lemon button ferns, scientifically known as Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Duffii’, are small, compact plants that belong to the Nephrolepis genus. They are commonly called lemon button ferns due to their zesty lemon-like scent when crushed. These ferns are often grown in containers as they are well-suited for indoor settings.

When it comes to watering, lemon button ferns must be kept consistently moistened. They appreciate a well-draining soil mix and should never be allowed to sit in water. While they don’t like to be overly dry, they also don’t tolerate being waterlogged.

In terms of light, lemon button ferns prefer bright, indirect light. Placing them in a spot where they receive filtered light is ideal. However, they can tolerate lower light conditions, but their growth may be slower.

Lemon button ferns are not heavy feeders, but they will benefit from a diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season. In terms of propagation, these ferns can be easily propagated by dividing the plant or by planting the baby ferns (known as plantlets) that grow from the parent plant.

When it comes to diseases, lemon button ferns are relatively resistant. However, they may experience problems such as mineral deficiency or wilting foliage. It’s important to provide them with adequate water, as underwatering or overwatering can lead to leaf problems.

When buying a lemon button fern, look for plants with healthy fronds and avoid purchasing any that have yellow or crispy leaves. A well-draining substrate is essential, so make sure the plant is potted in a suitable soil mix. Remember to keep the soil moist but not overly wet.

These ferns can also be grown outdoors in suitable climates, but they are more likely to thrive when grown in a controlled environment such as a terrarium. Lemon button ferns are generally safe for dogs and are not known to be toxic.

In summary, lemon button ferns are compact and little-leaved plants known for their zesty scent. They require a well-draining soil, moistened but not overwatered, and bright, indirect light. With proper care, these ferns can thrive both indoors and outdoors.


Light is an essential factor for the successful growth of ferns. It is crucial to provide the right amount of light to ensure their proper development. Ferns are similar to plants in terms of light requirements. They need bright, indirect light to thrive. Direct sunlight can be too harsh for ferns, causing damage to their leaves and fronds.

To keep your ferns healthy and happy, place them in a location that receives bright, filtered light throughout the day. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as it can lead to scorching and turning the leaves yellow.

Ferns can tolerate lower light conditions, but their growth will be slower. If you are looking for faster growth, make sure to provide sufficient light. A good indicator is to observe the leaves. If they start looking pale or thin, it may indicate they need more light.

Keep in mind that different fern varieties have different light requirements. Some ferns, such as the Lemon Button fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Duffii’), prefer more light and can tolerate a few hours of direct morning or evening sun. Others, like the Kimberley Queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata ‘Kimberley Queen’), can thrive in low light conditions.

If you are unsure about the light requirements of your fern, it’s always a good idea to identify and verify the specific needs of the variety you have. There are many online sources and gardening articles that can provide you with standard information about fern light requirements.

Additionally, factors like humidity, temperature, and watering also influence fern growth. Ferns appreciate high humidity, which can be achieved by misting their leaves regularly or placing them in a humid environment, such as a bathroom or near a humidifier.

During the growing months, ferns should be watered thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure the soil drains well to avoid waterlogged conditions, which can lead to fungal problems.

In conclusion, providing the right amount of light is crucial for the healthy growth of ferns. By placing them in a location with bright, indirect light, identifying their specific needs, and following proper watering practices, you can ensure that your ferns thrive and add a touch of green to your home.


When it comes to growing ferns, the soil you choose is crucial for their health and growth. Ferns thrive in soil that is rich in organic matter and retains moisture well. A well-draining soil mix will prevent water from sitting around the roots, which can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

One common mistake that growers make is using regular potting soil for their ferns. While this might work for some plants, ferns have specific soil requirements and using the wrong mix can cause issues. It’s important to look for a soil mix that is labeled specifically for ferns, or you can create your own mix using a combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Another important factor to consider is the acidity of the soil. Most ferns prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. To ensure that the soil is at the optimal pH for your ferns, you can use a pH testing kit or consult a local garden center for advice.

When it comes to watering, ferns like to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. It’s important to water them regularly, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil feels slightly dry to the touch.

Ferns also appreciate high humidity levels, so if the air in your home is dry, you can increase humidity by misting the fronds with water or using a humidifier. Another option is to place the ferns in a tray filled with water and pebbles, making sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the pot.

When it comes to fertilizing ferns, it’s important to use a balanced liquid fertilizer that is diluted to half the recommended strength. Fertilize your ferns once a month during the growing season, typically from spring to fall. Make sure to read the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully and follow the recommended dosage.

Many ferns are known for their lush green fronds, but if you notice that the fronds are turning yellow or wilting, it could be a sign of nutrient deficiency or improper care. Take the time to identify what may be causing the issue and make the necessary adjustments in terms of lighting, watering, and fertilizer.

It’s also worth noting that not all ferns are the same, and different varieties may have slightly different care requirements. Some popular fern varieties include the Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.), and Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Duffii’). Before purchasing a fern, it’s a good idea to research the specific care needs of that variety.

In conclusion, growing ferns requires careful attention to their soil, watering, and lighting needs. By providing them with the right conditions, you can enjoy the beauty and health of these lovely plants in your home or garden.

✿ Read More About Houseplants.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.