The Durable Green Plant Martha Stewart Loves To Bring Inside (& How To Keep Them Fed)

For decades, Martha Stewart has graced us with her gardening know-how and other home-related tips. While the American icon's knowledge and love for plants is deep-seated, there's a certain one she admires for its resilient character. 

Ferns naturally thrive within their own external environment, but Stewart has the expertise to successfully sustain them indoors, per Today. While ferns typically like tropical, yet temperate climates, they can be found in many shaded areas among rocks and soil. With the right amount of care, ferns may add life and buoyancy when brought into your home while helping to filter the air of toxins. 

How does Martha Stewart maintain her indoor ferns? One of the oldest types of vegetation, ferns are dynamic and are relatively low-maintenance. Stewart says, "I love ferns because they need indirect light" (via Today). Depending on your home, setting them in a cool, moderate area away from the sun is ideal for their development and longevity. While ferns like balmy air, keeping them hydrated and nourished is also a must while inside. With thousands of varieties available, Stewart has a few suggestions for planting and growing your ferns indoors.

Feed your fern with a time-release fertilizer

Whatever fern you choose, start with a small plant and a sturdy clay pot. Before removing it from its original container, place a shard over the bottom of the new pot's drainage hole. Martha Stewart advises, "You cover it so it doesn't (really) take away the drainage, but just so the soil doesn't fall out" (via Today). While keeping the soil intact, Stewart also recommends feeding your baby fern with fertilizer, "use a time-release (like Osmocote) in the soil." You can then position your fresh plant within your combined mixture with the base of the vegetation evenly matching the top layer.

Watering your fern frequently is also essential. While many plants have different needs, Stewart suggests, "(With) watering — read the instructions about the specific kind of plant." Typically, ferns like their soil to be consistently damp — not too wet and never overly dry. "If you overwater, you'll see, this will turn yellow," she continues. However, underwatering these plants will cause them to wrinkle up and wither. Additionally, during the colder winter months, or if you live in a particularly dry climate, your ferns might enjoy the occasional morning mist. Aim for the soil rather than the foliage a couple of times a week to help moisten up their space.

Martha's favorite ferns are timeless houseplants

While Martha Stewart has cultivated an enduring, multiple-acre farm with sprawling gardens, ferns remain a classic choice for many interior spaces. Both adaptable and lovely, she says, "There are so many different kinds of ferns" (via Today). Stewart goes on to suggest various types you can grow, including bird's nest (or crispy wave) ferns, lemon button, and jester's crown. While most ferns appear green, some offer a spectrum of colors, like the autumn, or Japanese shield fern, which would complement a fall motif. With numerous ferns to explore, common ones you might also try are the Boston, maidenhair, or staghorn, which are all good for hanging in a basket display.

Versatile in size, texture, and shape, ferns can easily mingle with a diverse group of perennials and greenery. Create a lush sanctuary by adding palm trees, fiddle leaf, golden pothos, and succulents, which Stewart says "are like the most popular plant nowadays" (via Today). Group several small ones together or a larger one to stand out on its own. Whatever ferns you decide to liven up your home with, make sure to keep them hydrated and fed for happy, long-lasting plants.