The Q&A Archives: Fern Care

Question: I need instructions on how to manage and care for a fern. I'm not sure of what kind it is. But if you could give me instructions or a web-page to refer to I would appreciate it!

Answer: Outdoor ferns grow best in rich, humusy soil, high in organic matter...much like they how the grow in the forest. They generally enjoy a moist, shady, humid environment. Dependent on what type of fern it is would depend on whether the soil should be acidic or alkaline so I wouldn't try to alter that unless you know what that specific ferns demands. <br><br>Most ferns grown as houseplants 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! 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>The American FernSociety can provide a wealth of information. You can visit their website at

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