How To Care For Heart Ferns

May 10, 2024

Looking for a houseplant that's easy on the eye and fairly easy to take care of? I've got you covered. Today I'm sharing what I've learned about how to take care of a plant near and dear to my heart (no pun intended) -- the heart fern.

heart fern in terrarium on stool in living room.

I was surprised at what I found out during my research. Join me here to learn some tips and common sense solutions that will help you care for them.

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a plant expert. I'm just sharing my own experience with the heart fern. Your experience may differ. 

green leaves heart fern black plastic pot

After window shopping in a large garden supply store that sells very expensive plants, I was on my way out the door when I saw a table filled with heart ferns. There was no way I wasn't going to stop and check them out. They were beautiful and fairly inexpensive ($5.99)! 

heart fern plant in pot.

Heart ferns, otherwise known as Hemionitis arifolia, are unique houseplants with leaves shaped like -- wait for it -- hearts! That's exactly what drew me to them in the first place. They're also known as tongue ferns (I like the name "heart ferns" better!).

six heart fern leaves plant

Heart ferns thrive in bright, indirect light, high humidity (70%) and warm temperatures (60-85 degrees). While some experts say you should mist the leaves with water periodically to help with the humidity factor, the easier option is to place the plant in a terrarium or greenhouse where the humidity can be controlled.

terrarium on coffee table.

So what to use as a terrarium? My shabby chic white metal and glass terrarium to the rescue! I've used this decorative glass and metal "bird house" for so many things over the past 23 years, but never as a tabletop terrarium. Mostly it's been filled with battery-operated LED candles.

white living room couch and neutral pillows

Once I removed the candles and cleaned out the inside of it as well as the faux glass wall inserts, I was ready to set up the terrarium.

blue white chinoiserie blue willow plates

One way to create the necessary humidity is to line a dish or plate with small stones and then add some standing water. 

blue and white shallow bowl filled with stones

I chose a shallow chinoiserie bowl ($2 from an estate sale) in which I layered some stones and then added a touch of water.    

shallow bowl with stones in terrarium

I placed the shallow bowl into the "bird house." 

heart fern terrarium

I then added the heart fern, after having repotted it into a well-worn garden pot.

heart fern in pot with patina

I love using pots with patina and character.

green plant in glass terrarium

I can't wait to see how/if the humidity ramps up and whether or not it becomes healthier in this environment with (hopefully) higher humidity. I'll update this post once I have a read on it.

repotted heart fern on stool.

Ferns also like to be moist and well-drained, so you need to be prepared to keep tabs on the soil and water when appropriate. And don't forget to keep the bowl watered as well!

One last tidbit: they are non-toxic to pets -- yay!

Well, that's it for today, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading about 
How To Care For Heart Ferns
 and that I've inspired you in some way. 

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heart fern in terrarium in living room
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My thrift store addiction said...

The heart leaves are so pretty!

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