Stephanie, your fern looks like it has not received ample water and possibly too much sun. They prefer bright, indirect light and lots of humidity.
Ferns love moisture and shade...misting daily, etc. You can sit the pot on a humidity tray.
Another possibility is it could be rootbound. I used to sit mine in a sinkful of water about once a month and let it soak until it was thoroughly watered, then hang it over the sink to "drip dry."
I would cut out all the dead stuff and repot to a larger container. Fertilize about once a month.
The only way to propagate the Boston Ferns that I know of is either to divide the mama plant
or by the spores (seeds
) found on the back of the leaves. I don't know how to describe what they look like...just uniformly spaced little dots on each leaf segment. The following is from a website giving propagation information:Ferns may also be propagated by spores. During the warm months of summer, ferns produce dot-like structures called spores on the underside of the leaves. When the spores ripen and turn dark remove the leaf and place in a dark container like a paper bag. Let the plant dry out. Once dry you can shake the leaf and thousands of spores will fall free. Place the spores in pot containing a peat based seed-starting mix. Work carefully as the spores can blow away with the slightest breeze. Water the container from the bottom up. When the soil surface is damp, place the pot in a plastic bag. Place the bag in the sun and keep it warm, at a constant 65 to 70 degrees F. You will first see a layer of green goo on the surface of the pot. This is the primordial soup that will become new ferns. This can take a few days or several months. Next, small fern like structures will appear, when these fronds are about 1 inch tall remove the plastic bag. As the ferns are very closely packed they will have to be transplanted in clumps to small pots. Once they are two to three inches in height they can be transplanted to individual pots. Fertilize lightly at this time.