Some people seem to have cold hands or are blessed to always succeed in gardening, and their homes are filled with healthy, lush greenery. If you don't belong to them, don't worry, there are plants you can even keep them alive! Mountain fern (also called sword fern or Boston fern) is one of them. This is the most popular choice of ferns to grow, and its long, feather-like stems will add a lively feel to any room. You can grow mountain ferns both indoors and outdoors with just a little knowledge and care.
Part 1 of 2: Creating a Decent Environment
Step 1. Gather gardening supplies
Mountain ferns will thrive in a soil mixture of peat moss, sand and garden soil. You can buy all of these ingredients at your local florist. This final mixture should consist of the above 3 ingredients in equal ratios. The size of the pot should be large enough so that the mountain spikes can be planted freely and the roots are not too close to the drainage holes of the pot. However, do not choose a pot that is too large because it can accumulate rotting roots.
Step 2. Plant the mountain spikes in the pot
Place the soil and plant mixture in a clean pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Mountain spikes can be planted in about the top half of the pot to give the roots room to grow in the soil. Fill the pot with more soil mixture and leave about 2.5 cm of free space from the rim of the pot.
Step 3. Place the nail mount outdoors, in a warm, humid environment
In some areas, the summer weather is warm and humid enough to make the perfect environment for mountain ferns. This one plant grows best in an environment where the humidity level is at least 50%. If day temperatures in your area range from 18 to 24 °C, and night temperatures range from 13 to 18 °C, mountain ferns will thrive outdoors. You can put it on your patio or veranda and this plant will grow well.
Cooler night temperatures will help prevent mold growth
Step 4. Place the nail mount in a suitable room in the house
If you are going to put mountain spikes indoors, either permanently or only during the winter months, make sure the humidity level is adequate. The best option is to place it in a room equipped with a humidifier. Keep the humidity level between 18 and 24 °C, and move the mountain spikes to a cooler room at night.
If you don't want to buy a humidifier, there are other options. You can place the mountain spikes on a tray of gravel and water. Water will create moisture as it evaporates
Step 5. Expose the mountain spikes to indirect sunlight
Mountain spikes will thrive if they receive filtered indirect sunlight. If the plant is placed outdoors, place it where it can get sunlight through tree trunks or gaps in the roof of the veranda. If placed indoors, place it near the window. Do not put the nail mountain in the shade, nor in a place exposed to direct sunlight. So, pick somewhere midway between the two.
Part 2 of 2: Keeping Mountain Spikes Healthy
Step 1. Keep the soil moist
Like sunlight, give the mountain spikes enough water, but don't overdo it. Flush with lukewarm water so that the soil is completely moist, but not soggy. In the warmer months, water more often. Make sure the soil doesn't dry out.
Winter is not the season for growing spikes. You can reduce the frequency of watering and allow the soil to dry before watering again. When new shoots appear, start watering the plant more often to keep the soil moist
Step 2. Fertilize mountain spikes every few months
Mountain ferns don't need much fertilizer, but fertilizing them about every two months will help provide nutrients for the ferns during the warmer season. Purchase plant nutrients at your local florist. Read the instructions on the package and dissolve it so that the concentration is not too strong.
During winter, you don't have to fertilize mountain spikes
Step 3. Prune stalks where leaves have changed color or fallen off
These stalks are branches sticking out of the plant and filled with leaves. Old leaves will change color or fall off and aesthetically no longer look attractive. Use sharp, clean scissors to scrape the stem all the way to the base. Removing old stalks will stimulate the growth of new healthy shoots.
The best time to prune mountain ferns is in the spring or summer, when the plant is growing at its fastest
Step 4. Protect the spikes from insects
Fortunately, mountain ferns are generally not a target for insects, but sometimes these plants can also be attacked by pests. Do not use any material that is too harsh to get rid of pests on mountain spikes. Spray it with a mild insecticide or natural insect repellent and observe. Hopefully this step is enough to eradicate the pests that appear.
Step 5. Keep mountain spikes in a dormant state for the winter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that your plants survive the winter. Once the temperature drops below 5 °C, bring the plant into the house. If the mountain spikes turn brown and fall out, that's okay. This is normal. Water the plant about once a week and do not fertilize it during the winter.