The Pteris genus includes a huge variety of fern species, most native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. Collectively known as brake ferns, many have flat, pinnate fronds that hardly resemble the traditional idea of a fern.

The most popular ones for indoor cultivation tend to be relatively easy to care for, often featuring beautiful variegation that makes them look fancier and more high-maintenance than they actually are. In fact, these tend to be fairly tough plants that require only adequate moisture and protection from very dry air to do well.

Indoors, Pteris ferns can be started and grown year-round. They will grow at a moderate pace, eventually reaching anywhere from 8 to 24 inches in height, depending on the varietal. All in all, these ferns make an easy and appealing addition to any indoor plant collection.


Pteris ferns prefer bright filtered light, similar to what they would receive in their natural tropical environment under the canopy of larger trees. Distilled light is especially important in the warmer summer months when the plant is actively growing. Avoid harsh direct rays, especially mid-day, which can singe or burn the leaves.


Luckily, Pteris ferns are not picky about their soil mixture and can thrive well in basic potting soil. The mixture should be well-draining and easy to keep moist, but it should not get boggy or waterlogged. Generally, any peat-based mixture will allow the plant to thrive just fine.


Pteris ferns are not overly demanding when it comes to water. While most ferns will almost immediately die if left to dry out, Pteris ferns are a bit more tolerant of dry soil. For best results, aim to water your plant at a regular cadence, keeping the soil consistently moist.