Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis) thrive in average household temperatures, bright light and moist potting soil. Moist air is necessary for lush growth, so mist every few days. If the tips of your fern turn brown, this indicates dry air. You can cut off just the brown part on the tips of the fronds, or you can cut the entire frond back. New fronds develop in the center of the plant. Old fronds eventually lose their leaves and should be cut back to keep the fern looking neat and tidy.