Fluffy Ruffle is a beautiful cultivar of Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), which is loved by home gardeners and plant lovers for its lovely appearance and low-care needs. It has glossy-green sword-shaped leaves that give a fluffy appearance to this plant. This plant grows to a maximum height of 12 inches; it looks adorable in indoor plant collection. If you wish to grow this plant inside your home, here is an easy guide to help you learn about Fluffy Ruffle Fern care and requirements.
Fluffy Ruffle Fern Indoor Care
Fluffy Ruffle Fern is a low-maintenance plant whose indoor care includes weekly watering and monthly fertilization. You must grow it in slightly acidic soil (pH 5.0-6.5). The humidity must be kept around 70-90%. The optimum temperature range is 18-26°C. The ideal growth zones for this plant are 9-11.
This lovely fern species must be watered when its topsoil is dry to touch. Once the top 2 inches are dry, water this plant thoroughly until water starts dripping from the drainage hole. The topsoil can get dry after a week or even after a day; it all depends on the climate you live in. In winters, its soil will take even more days to get dry. Never let the soil get soggy or extra moist.
Dim-colored and crisp leaves mean your plant is being under-watered. Increase its watering frequency if you notice such signs. On the other hand, yellow leaves with burnt edges indicate over-watering.
This plant grows best in slightly acidic soil, whose pH range is 5 to 6.5. If you want to lower the soil’s pH naturally, add two to three inches of peat moss to it. Peat moss is perfect for acid-loving plants. All-purpose garden potting mix will do best for Fluffy Ruffle Fern. Add peat moss or sphagnum to increase the soil’s ability to retain moisture, add sand to increase drainage, add perlite to increase aeration. Organic soil ensures the healthy growth of this plant. You can add leaf mold and compost to increase the organic matter of the soil. These two ingredients provide many nutrients to the plant.
Filtered sunlight suits best for this tropical fern. You can place it a few feet away from the window or place it near a sunny window, behind a curtain. A north or east-facing window is perfect for its placement. In these two spots, it receives the morning sun rays and stays safe from the scorching afternoon sun. It can also grow well in full-shaded places. It must never be grown in direct sunlight; direct sunlight burns its foliage. If you want to grow this plant in your home garden outside, cover it with a shade cloth to protect it from direct sun rays.
Fluffy Ruffle Fern care includes placing it in a warmer corner where the temperature stays between 18°C and 26°C. This is the optimum temperature range for the proper growth of this plant. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 4°C. However, it is not frost-hardy. A hard frost can kill this lovely fern. This is why move it to indoors in winters. In summers, do not place this plant in the way of heatwaves. Place it away from air conditioners or fans.
This plant prefers a highly humid environment. It is a tropical fern that needs at least 70% humidity to grow well. If you want to provide it with the best conditions, level up the humidity to 90%. This is not possible with just misting. You should try other ways as well. You can place a pebble tray beneath this plant. As water evaporates from the pebbles, it increases the moisture in the air. You can also try grouping this plant with other plants. You can also grow it in a terrarium or bathroom, or kitchen where the humidity is high enough to fulfill this plant’s needs.
Fluffy Ruffle Fern care includes monthly feeding. It needs the essential nutrients to be replenished every month in spring and summer. You must add fertilizer to its soil every month from April to September. In the remaining months, feed it after every two months. Use a regular houseplant fertilizer. You should always dilute the fertilizer to half of its strength before adding it to the plant. Never add fertilizer to dry soil. Always water the plant before fertilizing it. Otherwise, you will burn its roots.
Grooming and Pruning
This pretty little plant will benefit from a little pruning. But never cut its fronds from the top. Prune just the bottom ones. Pruning the bottom fronds allows new leaves to grow by making room for them. Also, cut the curled up and brown-colored leaves that have become too old to stay on the foliage. All this must be done at the end of winter or the beginning of spring, as these are the months of active growth. You can use simple scissors or shears for pruning.
Disease and Pests
Pythium root rot is a common disease of Fluffy Ruffle Fern. In this disease, the roots of this plant turn brown and stunted. For treating this disease, you must move your plant to a new pot, into new soil, and avoid standing water.
Scales and spider mites often inhabit its foliage and damage it. Getting rid of these pests is a task for Fluffy Ruffle Fern care. You can get rid of these two pests by using rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol or neem oil and gently rub it on the foliage.
This beautiful fern is closely related to Boston Fern. Although Boston Fern can be propagated through spores, we cannot propagate Fluffy Ruffle Fern through spores as it is sterile. Propagation of this plant can be done through the division method.
- Take Sword Fern and remove it from its pot.
- Shake off excess soil.
- Gently untangle its roots and rhizomes by using your fingers or a small stick.
- Place the plant on the floor and cut it into two parts by using a sharp knife then place both parts in separate pots.
- Place both pots in bright, indirect sunlight.
- Keep watering it regularly.
- Both these fern plants will take 2-4 weeks to start growing again. This is how simply you can increase your collection of Fluffy Ruffle Fern.