Lace Fern Care – A Complete Guide

Lace Fern
Lace Fern

How to Care for Lace Fern

The Lace Fern plant is a very easy plant to care for, therefore it makes a perfect beginners plant.

This plant is native to the southern point of the continent of Africa and it was first brought to Europe during the seventeenth century. Lace Fern plant needs bright indirect sunlight.

It is also classed as a medium to fast growing plant species. These plants are a perennial with tough green stems that can grow to about a meter in length. Between spring and autumn, the Lace fern will develop green-white flowers that are bell shaped and they will also grow small berries that are green.

What Does Your Lace Fern Require?

Light Requirements

Lace Fern grows best in indirect bright light. When this plant has a lack of light, it will grow slowly, and it may even turn a yellow colour.

Avoid having your Lace fern plant in direct sunlight, especially during the warmest part of the day, as direct sunlight will scorch the fronds. This plant will do well in artificial light that is bright enough.

Temperature Requirements

The Lace Fern plant prefers temperatures of between ten and twenty-four degrees centigrade. This is a plant that does not like the frost or cold conditions.

When this plant is in conditions with a temperature less than twelve degree, the plant will become stagnant with poor growth.

Avoid putting your Lace Fern in areas where it will experience draughts, especially from fans and air conditioner units. 

Soil Requirements

Lace Fern plants do best in soils which have a pH level of between five and seven and the soil needs to be well drained. It is a good idea to use a potting mix which is good quality. This plant can also do well in soil that is a mixture of perlite and peat.

Humidity Requirements

This plant is native to tropical regions, therefore it needs to have a high level of humidity. During dry weather it is a good idea to spray the plant with mist regularly to increase the level of humidity.

A humidifier is another very useful way to give the plant a good level of humidity, or use a tray full of pebbles with a layer of water.

How to Water a Lace Fern?

The top two inches of soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. Lace fern will require regular watering.

However, it should not be left standing in water as this will damage the roots.  The best way to water this plant is using the little and often method.

Allow the soil to dry a bit between watering, however do not allow it to dry out completely.  During the autumn and winter months, this plant will require less water but regularly spraying with mist will help with the humidity level.

How to Fertilise a Lace Fern?

During the summer months, this plant should be given a fertiliser that is well balanced, and it is best to feed the plant once per week.  Adding nutrients to the plant on the warmer days during the summer will  help the fern to grow and develop healthy foliage.

A quality fertiliser that is designed for houseplants will be enough for your Lace Fern. During the autumn and winter month, this plant will not require any additional  nutrients. Avoid putting the fertiliser onto dry soil as it will form crystals on the soil. 

Extra Tips for Lace Fern

Pests & Diseases

There are not very many pests or diseases that can cause severe problems for Lace fern. There are several pests that can affect this plant, which includes mealybugs and scale insects.

It is not a good idea to use pesticides on these ferns. Keeping these plants in the correct conditions will  reduce the risk of any pests and make the plant more resilient. 


Lace Fern plants grow quickly, therefore it is possible that they will out  grow the container. When the plant outgrows the container, cut or prune several branches from the lower side.

This method of pruning will enable the plant to retain its appearance, size, growth. This plant can be pruned at any time, however it is best to do it during the summer months.  


Re-potting is best done once a year, and this involves placing the plant into fresh soil. If the roots known as rhizome are congesting in the pot, then it would be a good idea to repot into a bigger pot. It is best to do the re-potting during the spring months. 


In the wild, Lace Fern will  propagate through the dispersal of spores. This plant can also spread by growing new stems from the roots. These new stems will  clump around the adult plant.

Propagation Using Spores

Propagation using spores is a process that will take a long time to do. The spores will take several months to develop.

Propagation Using Rhizome Division

Propagation using Rhizome division is one of the easiest methods. 

  • Loosen the soil  around the adult plant and gently remove it from the soil. 
  • Use a sharp blade and cut a piece from the rhizome that is about two inches. The removed  rhizome piece should have at least one frond and a stem as this will allow the plant to grow.
  • Plant the adult plant and the new plant into soil that is moist. Ensure that the rhizome is about half way below the soil. 
  • The plants pot should be placed in an area that has partial shade or indirect light whilst having a high level of humidity.
  • Regularly mist the soil and the new shoots should start to develop after about four weeks. 


Do Ferns Like Full Sun or Shade?

Most species of fern can tolerate partial sunlight; however, they prefer to be in shaded areas.

Lace Fern plants will grow best in  bright areas, but avoid direct sunlight, as this will damage the ferns. 

What Ferns Come Back Every Year?

Ferns are a perennial species of plant, which means that they will happily grow for many years. It is normal for ferns to undergo some dieback during the winter months, especially when it is very cold.

When kept in the correct conditions, it will come back in the spring.

Are Silver Lace Ferns Safe for Cats?

As most ferns are toxic for cats, Lace Ferns are also toxic, although the Silver Lace Fern is a non-toxic plant, therefore is safe for your cats. As with all plants it is worth keeping an eye on your cat just in case he develops a reaction to the plant, but there is no major risk, as the plant is not toxic.

Do Ferns Need Lots of Water?

It can be difficult to determine exactly how much water is required for fern plants. Almost all species of fern are  native to woodland areas and many are from tropical rainforest regions, therefore they tend to prefer moist soil.

When these plants are kept indoors, it is a good idea to allow the soil to dry in the pot before adding more water.

Where to Place Ferns in The House

Indoor fern plants are best placed next to a north facing window. Avoid placing your fern in an east or west facing windows, as this will give the plant too much direct sunlight, and this can damage the fronds.

A south facing window is also a suitable place to put the plant, but it will not receive as much sunlight. The level of humidity needs to be kept relatively high for these plants.

Where Is the Best Place to Plant Ferns?

Some ferns prefer to be in dry soil, but most ferns prefer to be in moist soil. When planting the ferns in the garden, it is important that they are planted in an area that has partial shade.

The best places to plant ferns include borders, alongside foliage plants and along edges with other plants,

How Do You Plant Ferns in The Garden?

When planting the fern, spread about four inches of compost over a bed of leaf mould or pine bark so that there is a good amount of drainage. Mix the compost through the top ten inches of soil using a hoe or spade.

Dig a planting hole that is the same depth as the fern root ball and twice the width of the fern root ball. 

Is the Lace Fern Toxic?

The Lace Fern plant is a poisonous species of houseplant, and they have a high level of toxicity. The red berries that grow on this plant is toxic if eaten and can result on digestive problems.

What Care Do Ferns Need Over the Winter?

During the winter months, it is a good idea to cut ferns back and then apply fertiliser in the spring. There is not very much care required for the ferns during the winter months.

When cutting back, it is just a case of removing the dead and browned fronds. When cutting back, it is best to cut the frond back to only a few inches from the crown of the plant.

Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

Snake Plant Varieties

Snake Plant Varieties Care – A Complete Guide

Philodendron Hederaceum

Philodendron Hederaceum Care – A Complete Guide