Propagating Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) via Rhizome Cuttings: Tips and Tricks

Propagating Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) via Rhizome Cuttings: Tips and Tricks

If you’re looking to expand your indoor garden with beautiful Boston Ferns, propagating them via rhizome cuttings is a fantastic way to do so. This method allows you to create new plants from existing ones, ensuring a bountiful collection of these lush and vibrant ferns. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and tricks on how to successfully propagate Boston Ferns using rhizome cuttings.

Overview of Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Fern, also known as Nephrolepis exaltata, is a popular indoor plant known for its lush, green fronds and graceful arching stems. It is native to tropical regions and thrives in humid environments. Boston Fern is a low-maintenance plant that can add a touch of elegance to any indoor space.

Description of Boston Fern

Boston Fern features long, feathery fronds that can grow up to 3 feet in length. The fronds are a vibrant shade of green and have a delicate, airy appearance. The plant is non-toxic to pets and humans, making it a safe choice for households with animals or small children.

Benefits of Growing Boston Fern

Growing Boston Fern has several benefits, including its air-purifying properties. The plant can help remove toxins from the air, creating a healthier indoor environment. Boston Fern is also known for its ability to add a pop of color and texture to any room. Additionally, caring for a Boston Fern can be a rewarding experience, as the plant is relatively easy to maintain.

Introduction to Propagation via Rhizome Cuttings

One way to propagate Boston Fern is through rhizome cuttings. Rhizomes are underground stems that produce roots and shoots, allowing the plant to spread and reproduce. By taking rhizome cuttings from a mature Boston Fern plant, you can create new plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant. This method of propagation is relatively simple and can be a fun way to expand your Boston Fern collection.

Preparing for Propagation

When propagating Boston Fern via rhizome cuttings, it is important to properly prepare before getting started. This includes selecting the right rhizome, gathering necessary supplies, and creating the ideal growing environment.

Selecting the Right Rhizome

When selecting a rhizome for propagation, it is important to choose a healthy and mature rhizome. Look for a rhizome that is free from any signs of disease or damage. A healthy rhizome will have firm and fleshy roots, and may also have some new growth sprouting from it.

Gathering Necessary Supplies

Before starting the propagation process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. This includes sharp scissors or pruning shears for cutting the rhizome, a clean container filled with well-draining potting mix, and a spray bottle for misting the cuttings. You may also want to have some rooting hormone on hand to help promote root growth.

Creating the Ideal Growing Environment

Boston Ferns prefer a humid and warm environment, so it is important to create the ideal growing conditions for your cuttings. Place the container with the cuttings in a warm and bright location, but out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, by misting the cuttings regularly. You can also cover the container with a plastic bag to help retain moisture and create a greenhouse-like environment.

By following these tips and tricks for preparing for propagation, you can increase the chances of success when propagating Boston Fern via rhizome cuttings.

Steps to Propagate Boston Fern via Rhizome Cuttings

Cutting and Preparing the Rhizome

To propagate a Boston Fern via rhizome cuttings, start by selecting a healthy and mature fern plant. Carefully dig up the plant to expose the rhizomes. Use a sharp and sterile knife to cut a healthy rhizome from the main plant. Make sure the rhizome has at least one healthy frond attached to it.

Planting the Rhizome Cuttings

Prepare a pot with well-draining soil mix, such as a mixture of peat moss and perlite. Plant the rhizome cuttings in the pot, making sure the frond is above the soil line. Water the soil thoroughly and place the pot in a location with indirect sunlight.

Caring for Newly Propagated Boston Ferns

After planting the rhizome cuttings, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Mist the fronds regularly to provide humidity for the newly propagated ferns. Keep the plants in a warm and humid environment, as Boston Ferns thrive in these conditions. Monitor the growth of the new plants and repot them into larger containers as they grow. Enjoy your newly propagated Boston Ferns!


In conclusion, propagating Boston Ferns via rhizome cuttings is a simple and effective way to expand your fern collection. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can ensure a high success rate and healthy growth of your new plants. Remember to provide the right conditions of moisture, light, and temperature to encourage root development and overall plant health. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy a thriving Boston Fern garden in no time. Happy propagating!