The indoor brake fern is one of the easier ferns to grow, so if you have not been successful with some others, you may want to try this one. It is more easy going than many other ferns indoors.
It has also earned another name, Table Fern, due to its ability to grow easily indoors. The foliage is fairly delicate so be sure to place it somewhere where you won’t brush up against it too much. Brake ferns can grow up to 2 feet (0.6m) tall and wide in good conditions.
There are many cultivars available including Pteris cretica ‘Albolineata’ which has cream colored stripes in the middle of the leaves. The ‘Victoriae’ cultivar has silvery white stripes, and ‘Cristata’ has ruffled leaves.
Brake Fern Indoor Care
Like most ferns, the brake fern houseplant enjoys growing in bright indirect light indoors. Be sure to place this plant right in front of a window. It will enjoy a little bit of direct sun, but be sure not to give it too much.
Like any ferns, the brake fern inside will appreciate if you give it higher humidity. You can achieve this by placing it on a pebble tray with water filled right below the pebble surface, or a humidifier.
Also like other ferns, try and keep the soil relatively moist at all times. This particular fern will be a little more forgiving than other ferns if your soil dries out, but try not to reach that point if possible. Fertilize with a diluted, balanced houseplant fertilizer during the active growing season in Spring and Summer.
Once the brake fern has filled its pot, you can propagate it by division. This is best done in the Spring when you should use a sharp knife to cut the root ball into as many sections as you’d like. Be sure that each division has a piece of rhizome and a bare minimum of 2 leaves for best results. Then plant into a good peat-based potting soil.
Brake ferns enjoy cooler nights (minimum of 55F or 13C) and slightly warmer days (up to 75F or 24C) for best results. Beware of placing ferns by heating vents. The hot and dry air can make the fronds yellow. If this happens, simply cut off the yellowed or brown fronds. More will grow at the base with good care.
If you haven’t had success with other ferns, why not give the brake fern a try?