Houseplant of the week: sword fern

<span>Photograph: My Sunnyday/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: My Sunnyday/Shutterstock

Why will I love it?
Easy to care for and known for its lush, graceful fronds, the tall Polystichum munitum, or sword fern, growing up to 1.2 metres tall, brings a touch of the forest to any space.

Light or shade?
Avoid direct sunlight and instead mimic the canopy of its home by providing dappled light through a sheer curtain or broken up by a tree outside. It can tolerate low-light levels so it is ideal for dimmer corners.

Where should I put it?
It likes rooms with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens, but thrives in living rooms or bedrooms with assisted humidity. Keep it away from heating or cooling devices.

Related: Houseplant of the week: emerald ripple rosso

How do I keep it alive?
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and ensure good drainage to prevent root rot. Regular misting or a humidifier nearby can help mimic its natural habitat. Keep temperatures between 15C and 24C. Fertilise sparingly during the growing season to encourage lush growth.

Did you know …
The sword fern is native to North American forests, where it thrives in the cool, moist climate. Its botanical name reflects its sturdy nature, with munitum meaning “fortified”, a testament to its resilience in the wild.