Could you please tell me what plant this is?

My co-worker has this plant on their desk. It’s not looking very happy, if you could tell me what kind of plant it is that would be great! She thinks it’s some kind of fern.
Thank you!

Hi Jaycee,

It looks like a Bird’s Nest Fern.  The wide rippled leaves of a Bird’s Nest fern emerge from a central rosette or crown that looks like a fuzzy brown funnel.  It’s important to never get water on the crown or it will develop plant diseases. The tongue shaped fronds of a Bird’s Nest fern are fragile so put it where it can’t be bumped. The unique attractive Bird’s Nest fern requires quite a bit of care.

A Bird’s Nest fern does well in medium indirect light. The distinctive bright green leaves become pale when exposed to too much light. Direct sun causes unsightly burn marks on the leaves of a Bird’s Nest Fern.

Keep the soil of a Bird’s Nest Fern moist but never soggy at all times.

fertilizer once or twice in the spring and summer, when the fern is actively growing. Over-fertilization causes more problems and brown leaves than never fertilizing at all. Use a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.

High humidity is essential for a Bird’s Nest Fern. The higher the humidity the longer the fronds grow, indoors this can be up to 18” and outdoors 3ft-4 ft. Lack of humidity causes major problems: the entire leaf may turn yellow, the tips of the leaves may turn brown, and the plant may stop growing. If the humidity is too low, consider putting your Bird’s Nest fern on a wet pebble tray, be sure the plant is sitting on pebbles and not in the water.

You can read all my care tips for a Bird’s Nest Fern in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.