Nephrolepis exaltata is a very popular house plant, often grown in hanging baskets or similar conditions. It is a perennial plant hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11. Although the fern may appear totally dead due to frost, it will re-emerge in the spring. In general, the Boston fern likes damp, but not soggy soil that is rich in nutrients. Of the common cultivated ferns, the Boston fern is the most tolerant to drought. The fern thrives best in humid conditions, so when grown as a house plant it becomes necessary to mist the plant when relative humidity falls below around 80%. Although outdoors this plant prefers partial shade or full shade, inside it doesn't grow in shade and feels best in bright filtered light. This plant is usually propagated by division of the rooted runners, as named cultivars will not produce true spores.
In 1989, the NASA Clean Air Study showed that the Boston Fern could filter Formaldehyde, Xylene and Toluene from the air.