Ferns make a great addition to the inside of any home. They provide some color, they can warm up an otherwise cold (visually) room, and depending on the type of fern can be quite the conversations piece. Here are a few of the more common types of ferns that will do well inside you house:
Generic Indoor ferns
The maidenhair fern is you’re a typical indoor “fern”, although there are hundreds of different species of maidenhair’s. They are very robust plants and can grow with little maintenance beyond periodic watering. The Boston fern Heather Rhoades over at gardeningknowhow.com has a great article on how to take care of boston ferns .
Staghorn ferns are the coolest ferns in existence. They look good both inside and outside and what is even cooler they can hang without a pot. They even get there own page on growingferns.org here. Staghorns are a type of air plants. Those are plants that grow on other plants without hurting the host plant. They get their water out of the air as opposed to the ground (although they still need to be watered). Staghorns grow in tropical or temperate climates so I wouldn’t plant them outside if you live in a colder area. What is great about staghorns though is that they look awesome on a wall.
Cold resistant ferns
Ferns are not a plant that you usually think of when you think of cold weather plants but some species of fern can do quite well in cooler climates. The most common cold weather fern I can think of is the Japanese Painted Fern. Christmas ferns as you can probably guess from the name are frost resistant and look great as they can add a little year round green to your garden. They also do a great job of helping prevent erosion from slopes that might otherwise be barren in the winter.
Dry environment fern
Some ferns can survive in dry conditions. Note I said survive not thrive. If you are planting a fern in a dry area you will probably find that they don’t grow too big and they do not reproduce. This probably won’t be too big of a problem for you and should only mean that you have to remember to water them a little more often. Alpine water ferns are cool because they add some different colors to your garden. In the spring the come out with a reddish hue to them that really shines. Lady ferns are another species that might not thrive in dry conditions but will survive better than most.
Tree ferns, also known Cyatheales, are not good for inside but they look great in any yard. They grow in moist environment all around the world from, Australia to, The U.K., even in Hawaii. If you plant a bunch of them together you basically have a prehistoric forest minus the dinosaurs. These things can get huge. I am talking up to 40 feet tall. They prefer wet areas so if you don’t live below the mason Dixon line or in the pacific northwest I would not recommend them. The downside to tree ferns is that in the winter most if not all of their fronds fall off and it just looks like a creepy stump. However, don’t fear they come back every spring. If you live in florida and don’t have a tree fern either in your yard or near the sign to your subdivision you are not living in florida.