Ever thought of getting Macho Fern for your indoor garden?
Most of us are well aware of the Boston Fern plant, as it is commonly grown in indoor places.
But Macho Fern is not something that is known to many of us who have indoor gardens.
So, should you be growing this plant at your home?
What's the difference between Macho Fern and Boston Fern?
Let's try and understand more about these plants in today's guide.
What Is Macho Fern?
Scientifically known as Nephrolepis biserrata, Macho Fern is a tropical plant.
It often grows in South and Central America, Southeast Asia, and some African regions.
This plant does well in partial light, so it's always a good idea to grow this plant in shaded places.
The Macho Fern plant grows up to 4 ft wide and 6 ft tall, provided it gets the best conditions to grow in.
What Is Boston Fern?
Boston Fern is scientifically called Nephrolepis exaltata.
It is also identified with other names: Boston Swordfern, Boston Bluebell Fern, Fishbone Fern, and Tuber Ladder Fern.
Boston Fern is a common houseplant and is known to grow in tropical regions as well.
It is mainly found in places like South America, Mexico, West Indies, and Africa.
It is an evergreen plant, which means you can surely have this plant in your indoor garden for an extended period.
The plant can grow up to 3 ft tall in indoor conditions.
Now that you know a bit about these two plants, let's compare them in the following two sections with their differences and similarities.
Macho Fern vs. Boston Fern - Differences
Here's a list of differences between these two fern plants -
This is the major differentiating factor between Macho and Boston Fern plants.
The Macho Fern grows a lot taller than Boston Fern and can reach a height of up to 6 ft or more.
On the other hand, Boston Fern doesn't reach so far high, and that's why you can have this plant at home.
2. Foliage Structure
It is another differentiating factor that can help understand the difference between these two plants.
The fronds of Macho Fern are quite large as compared to Boston Fern fronds.
It is a natural characteristic of these two plants, as they grow differently according to their sizes.
Boston Fern is easily available in most parts of the world, as its popularity has increased manifolds in recent decades.
The other thing that goes in favor of this plant is its adaptability in indoor environments.
You can have this plant at home or office, and it will continue to thrive without many requirements.
But when you look at the Macho Fern, it's not really meant for indoor conditions.
Therefore, its availability is limited to places that are known for growing this plant outdoors.
Macho Fern vs. Boston Fern - Similarities
Even though there are not many differences between these two plants, you will find some interesting similarities between them.
Let's look at them in more detail -
1. Light Requirements
Both these ferns require indirect sun.
These plants cannot tolerate direct sunlight on their foliage.
If they come in contact with direct sun for a long period, they can easily get sunburned.
And this situation is surely not ideal for the plants, as it can directly affect their growth.
2. Growing Conditions
Since they're naturally conditioned to grow in tropical regions, you will need to have similar conditions for them in your home or backyard.
These ferns do require slightly hot and humid conditions, which are found in tropical areas.
Apart from that, they also do well in slightly moist soil.
So, you must keep it in mind, especially if you plan to get either of these plants from your local nursery or garden center.
3. Care Guidelines
There isn't much difference between growing these two plants at home or outdoors.
You can follow the same guidelines to look after these two different types of fern plants.
Of course, the growing conditions may differ a bit, but you can always adjust to them accordingly.
4. Growing Medium
The other similar thing about these two plants is the growing medium.
You can grow these plants directly in the ground as well as in pots.
Both plants adapt really well to the available spaces, so you won't have any problems growing these plants in either of the growing mediums.
Still, you should try to plant Macho Fern in a bigger pot and grow it outside.
For Boston Fern, though, you can have this plant in a room or balcony and grow it in a relatively smaller pot.
Now, let's have a look at the FAQs below.
No, it's pretty different from the Boston Fern plant.
Although the fronds of these plants are pretty similar to each other, they differ in various other characteristics that include size, height, location, etc.
The most significant difference between these two plants is the placement.
The Macho Fern is often grown outdoors, while the Boston Fern plant prefers indoor and outdoor places.
Yes, Macho Fern can take full sun, and it thrives in these conditions.
But do not keep it in direct sun!
It's best to place this plant in a bright location with a couple of hours of sunlight reaching its fronds each day.
In Zone 9, Macho Ferns are cold-hardy, but you will still need to protect the fronds from freezing.
If not, the plant will not do well for the rest of the season, and you will have to get a new one in the next season.
The ferns do well in both conditions, but they generally prefer bright locations.
If you wish to keep them indoors, try to place them near a window.
This way, they should be able to receive enough sunlight throughout the day, and they will also grow at a decent rate.
Ferns won't attract any bugs themselves.
If there are bugs in your home garden or the plant is weak, you might see some bug issues on this plant.
When bugs attack this plant, they target the tender and fresh foliage.
During this process, they release a honeydew substance, which might attract some other bugs to this plant.
Moreover, the fern plant is quite hardy and does well at keeping most bugs at bay.
You just need to take care of this plant well, and it should be easy to grow in your indoor place.