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Nephrolepis exaltata

Care Tips

Habit: Upright to arching medium to large sized clumping perennial up to 90 cm tall and wide with green to greenish-yellow fronds that can be feathery to frilly.

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants. Misting plants regularly in dry, low humidity periods will keep it looking good until conditions change.

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to weak direct light (either early morning or late afternoon sun). When placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall off and plants will decline.

Watering: Sword fern likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellow or dried frond leaflets or entire fronds as needed. Plants can grow fairly quickly and crowd the pot within a year and can then be divided by cutting it in half and potting up each piece.

Pests/Diseases: There are very few pest or disease issues with the Sword fern; the main precaution is to avoid overwatering which will quickly lead to root rot and plant death.

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