The diversity of ferns is astounding, with over 10,000 different known species growing around the world. Whether implemented in a garden, a basket or elsewhere, ferns are an important component of any gardener's plant repertoire. Below is some information on five of the most popular types of ferns.
Boston ferns are relatively tough, possessing a high tolerance for light (which is not typical of many fern species) and dry conditions. These traits make the Boston fern one of the easier plants to propagate. Boston ferns also have long fronds with tiny leaves, making them attractive for use in hanging baskets, groupings and so on.
The natural environment for Bird's nest ferns is the rainforest, where they are typically found at the top of the canopy. Their fronds are a bit different than those of most ferns, growing in a spoon shape from a central rosette. In indoor situations, Bird's nest ferns require a bit more attention than most other fern species.
Australian tree ferns evolved to be anything but a houseplant. In their natural environment, they can grow to be upwards of 40 feet. Thus, Australian tree ferns are really only suitable for large greenhouses, but they are still popular due to their beauty. Their fronds alone can reach five feet, curling out from a central leaf crown.
Once considered too difficult to manage, Staghorn ferns are now one of the most popular indoor fern species in the world. Of the 17 different types of Staghorn ferns, however, only one is truly common. They are best suited to be mounted on top of other objects, as their gorgeous antler-like fronds jut out in all directions.
Maidenhair ferns possess very small fronds, but they are still very difficult to manage indoors. More than anything, they require an exorbitant amount of humidity.