Birds Nest Fern Care
Ferns,  Plant Care

Birds Nest Fern Care

Bird nests ferns are relatively easy to care for, make sure it gets plenty of humidity.

Birds Nest Fern Care Summary

Light needs:They will tolerate most household light conditions where there is some indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Only water when the top layer of soil (half a finger depth) is dry.
Fertilizer:They will tolerate most household light conditions where there is indirect sunlight.
Soil:All purpose, well draining potting compost.
Humidity:Mist them when watering.
Temperature:18°C to 25°C (65-77°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Asplenium nidus, nest fern.
Common issues:Overwatering/root rot.


These circular ferns originate from tropical forest but grow well in most households with a little love and attention. Welcome to our Bird’s Nest Fern Care guide.

See also: Umbrella Plant Care, Kangaroo Paw Fern, Split Leaf Philodendron Care, Pilea Peperomioides Care.

Birds Nest Fern Light Needs

You need to be careful not to burn these pants with direct sunlight, but other than that they will tolerate most household light conditions where there is indirect sunlight.

How Often to Water A Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird Nest Ferns like to be moist, but not stand in water. Stick your finger in the soil, and only water when the top layer of soil (half a finger depth) is dry. Do not pour water into the heart of the plant, make sure you water the soil.


Bird’s nest ferns do not need feeding, but if you do they may grow faster. They are not the fastest growing plants in the first place to be honest! You can feed them once a month or so in the summer if you like. Use a balanced fertilizer but dilute it much more than it says on the packet, twice as much to start with, as BNFs can burn from too much feed.


Give your birds nest fern an all purpose, well draining potting compost.

When To Repot A Bird’s Nest Fern

Repot your fern up a pot size if it’s roots get crowded. They are fairly slow growing, so this will be every couple of years.


Birds Next Ferns like humidity. Mist them at watering time for a happy plant!


Warm household temperatures are ideal for a bird’s nest fern, so between 18°C to 25°C (65-77°F).

How To Propagate Birds Nest Fern

Birds nest ferns can be propagated by growing new plants form the spores that grow under their leaves. You can start them in sphagnum moss or soil, keep them moist and they should sprout and root over the next month.

Where To Buy A Bird’s Nest Fern

These are common plants and you buy them in plant shops (physical and online) as well as large garden centers. You can get them in many places, if not try Etsy.

Other Names for Bird’s Nest Fern

Asplenium nidus, nest fern.

Bird’s Nest Fern Care FAQs and Common Problems

The most common issue with these plants is over watering, so let the top layer of soil dry out between watering and don’t let the plant sit in water.

Brown Tips

If your plants leaves are browning at the tips it is probably due to under watering, or lack of humidity, or both. Water it regularly, letting the top layer of soil dry out each time, and spray it with water too.

Turning Yellow

Leaves turning yellow is a sign of overwatering – be careful to water it properly as mentioned previously.

Bird’s Nest Fern Root Rot

Birds nest ferns like to be moist but not waterlogged, which can cause root rot, so let any excess water drain off after watering.

Bird’s Nest Fern Vs Crispy Wave

The bird nest fern and crispy wave fern are the same plant (asplenium nidus) just different names for it.

Do Birds Nest Fern Reproduce By Spores?

They produce spores underneath their laves that can produce more plants.

Do Birds Nest Ferns Like To Be Root Bound?

They do not like to have crowded roots, so pot them up a size if they start to get root bound.

Do Birds Nest Ferns Like To Be Misted?

They like to be humid and you can mist hem regularly to keep the humidity up.

Can Bird’s Nest Fern Live Outside?

They can live outside but will get frost damage when temperatures drop so bring them in when it gets cold.

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