The humble fern is unfurling its fluffy fronds and taking over the number 1 spot on 2019’s Global Indoor Garden Trends lists.
While the Delicious Monster dominated houseplant trends in 2017-2018 – to the extent that prints of its ‘Swiss Cheese’ leaves made it onto everything from clothing to throw pillows and wallpaper to notebook covers – it’s been usurped by the humble fern, for 2019.
There are thousands of different varieties, and fern fans will tell you that their delicate ruffled foliage and utterly prune-able shape will add amazing texture, depth – and rich green colour – to any corner of a room. They’ll even – as is the case with many houseplants – help purify the air in your home.
These prehistoric plants are immensely adaptable and fairly low-maintenance if you set them up to thrive, from the second you bring them into your home. They enjoy ambient – that is, not direct – light and a humid atmosphere, meaning that bathrooms and kitchens are excellent locations for them. If you’d rather add a flash of fern foliage to your lounge, double-pot the plant to help lock in moisture and gently mist the leaves every few days.
Ferns, but not as you know them
The staghorn fern (Platycerium) – named for its craggy similarities to a deer’s spectacular antlers – is an unusual option which doesn’t require soil, to grow. It can be attached to just about any organic object – like driftwood, for a dramatic effect – and hung directly on the wall. Be careful of mounting it too permanently, though – staghorn ferns are watered by being dunked into a bucket of water several times, before being drained briefly and then rehung.
Ferns aren’t ‘all about the green’, though – blechnums also show off soft pink and red tones once their leaves unfurl like a chameleon’s tongue. They’re probably better-suited to outdoor gardens, but why not try them indoors, too?
Why not use unusual objects to pot your ferns – and select other houseplants – and turn them into living installations? Old painted crates mounted on the wall and filled with a variety of fantastic flora make for striking statement spots in your home. Pick a mix of ferns and friends that will spread out – bird’s nest and button ferns add volume, Chain of Hearts adds a dramatic cascading effect and Devil’s Ivy can help add height.
Why not gift Mom a floating fern fantasy, this Mother’s Day? It’ll look great alongside any of the R200 000 worth of prizes up for grabs at www.mothers-day.co.za, thanks to our partners, including Travelstart, Volvo, Warwick Wines and Black Betty Jewellery.