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Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword fern)

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RATING: Moderately easy to care for. Nephrolepis exaltata ranks highly amongst the best air-purifying plants and is a brilliant plant to keep in your bathroom and other humid environments.

LOVES: Sword ferns enjoy being kept in a warm semi-shady spot away from direct sunlight (otherwise the leaves will scorch) and they adore and need high humidity - a humidifier or damp pebble tray under the pot is ideal.

HATES: Over and under watering. Ensure you keep the soil of your Nephrolepis exaltata moist but not soggy throughout the year. They also dislike being cold so avoid keeping them in rooms with temperatures below 12°C.

SIZE (approx): Pot diameter 9cm.

More information and care recommendations are below.


    A favourite among the Victorians, and still popular today, the Nephrolepis exaltata originates from tropical areas in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Nephrolepis ferns were introduced to Europe in 1793, and have captivated the plant market ever since.

    Their scientific name derives from the Greek ‘nephros’ meaning kidney and ‘lepis’ meaning scale, which describes the shaping of the membrane that covers the sorus (structures on the underside of the leaf that contain spores).

    Quick Care Guide

    Care Difficulty: This plant has moderate care needs.

    Light requirements: Nephrolepis exaltata prefers a semi-sunny / lightly shaded spot with indirect light. Usually found under the canopy on the forest floor it will not like direct sunlight which will damage the fronds.

    Watering: Prefers to be kept consistently moist, ensure you water when the top inch of soil is dry, and never let it dry out completely. Make sure not to overwater this plant as it doesn't like sitting in water which could lead to root rot. Make sure it's in a pot with good drainage. If possible the Nephrolepis exaltata prefers rainwater but if not available make sure to leave tap water out overnight to let any chemicals evaporate or use a water purifier that is suitable for houseplants.

    Humidity: A lover of humidity, this plant hates dry air or a cold drought. To make sure your plant is getting adequate humidity, place it in a steamy bathroom or kitchen or group plants together near a humidifier. Daily misting can be beneficial if you don’t own a humidifier.

    Toxicity: Non-toxic to humans and pets.

    Feeding: This can be fed during the growing season (spring and summer), but reduce feeding in winter months.

    Repotting: Repot once the roots have filled their current pot. This is usually done in spring. Only re-pot in a container that is one to two sizes larger so the plant does not go into shock.

    Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword fern)
    Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword fern)
    Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword fern)
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    Delivery & Returns



    Free local delivery to Brighton & Hove homes and surrounding areas is available.

    UK Nationwide delivery fees (for total orders under £50):

    • £4 for 48-hour tracked delivery via Royal Mail
    • £6.95 tracked next-day working day delivery with UPS (order must be received before 2pm to guarantee next-day delivery).

    These charges cover the whole order, regardless of how many items. Please email us if you would like the option to upgrade your shipping for faster delivery.

    More details can be found on our Plant Delivery Information page.

    Refunds & returns

    Refunds are available for any plant or product with an obvious fault. The request must be made within 7 days via email or by phone.

    Any products damaged in transit will require photos to be submitted via email. If we think they are salvageable we will provide you with return labels. If they are not we will provide a full refund, but we require the complaint to be submitted within 7 days of receiving the plant.

    Any return of plants within 7 days for any other reason will require the customer to pay for that return postage.

    Please note: Refunds or exchanges can not be made on ‘Sale’ items.