The Q&A Archives: Proper Care of Ferns

Question: What is the best way to care for a fern, in terms of light levels and watering? I don't know the type of fern but it has several long stems coming from the pot. Each stem has several small leafy leaves. Each stem is sort of triangular in shape. Currently, the leaves are starting to turn brown and its not looking very healthy. I water it once a week but it seems to be getting worse.

Answer: Without knowing exactly what type of fern it is, it's hard to give specific recommendations. Most ferns like high humidity levels. If it's practical, try hanging it in a bright spot in your bathroom--it will enjoy the steam from the shower!<br><br>Ferns need medium to high light, but not too much direct sun. A north-facing window usually suffices. Keep the soil evenly moist--if it is in a bright and/or warm spot, it may need more frequent watering. Check the soil every few days, and water as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist, but not saturated. Make sure it is growing in a well-drained soil--a good mix will have some perlite and/or vermiculite to help lighten the soil and improve drainage.<br><br>

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