Nephrolepis exaltata “Vitale”

Boston Sword Fern Nephrolepis exaltata Vitale

Sword Fern, Boston Fern, Boston Sword Fern


Nephrolepis exaltata “Vitale” is a compact growing cultivar of the Sword Fern or Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), which also differs from the wild type by its partly curled leaves.

Nephrolepis exaltata Vitale

Plant care

Lighting & Temperature

Semi-shaded to just bright and only somewhat sunny locations are perfect. The sword fern tolerates some morning sun or late evening sun as well as winter sun. However, it should be protected from the hot summer sun.

Nephrolepis exaltata “Vitale” can be kept warm all year round, but can also be overwintered at a moderate temperature of 50 to 59 °F (10 to 15 °C).

Sword Fern fronds


Peat-free mixes for houseplants, herbs or vegetables are well suited.

Boston Fern leaves

Watering & Feeding

The wild form of the sword fern also inhabits swampy regions. Therefore, it is good if the soil is always kept evenly moist. It should not dry out.

Nephrolepis exaltata “Vitale” has no problem with short-term waterlogging. However, regular potting mixes tend to rot if they are under water for a long time.

Boston Fern in a pot

Fertilizing should be started no earlier than one year after purchase or repotting.

Liquid fertilizers can be given monthly from spring to fall, and long-term fertilizers once in spring and summer.


The sword fern forms runners. As soon as they come into contact with soil, roots and offspring begin to grow on them.

Large specimens can be divided. Growing from spores that appear on the undersides of the leaves is also possible.

Sword Fern runner

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