The Q&A Archives: robust male fern

Question: Can the robust male fern be an indoor plant? Received two plants as a gift and have no shady area outdoors to plant it in. Would like to take care of them indoors. Possible?

Answer: Unfortunately I don't think so. This plant needs a winter chilling period. You might be able to grow it for a little while as a container plant by setting it on the north side of your house for spring, summer and fall, then in a cool dark place such as a garage for the winter. This is a big fern though, four feet tall and two or three feet wide so it is not well suited to small containers. It would be much healthier and happier planted in the ground -- it needs shade and a soil that is acidic, humusy and evenly moist yet well drained. Perhaps you could pass them along to a gardening friend or favorite community garden who has the right setting for it? I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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