The Q&A Archives: Ferns and Kalanchoe

Question: How to fertilize successfully ferns, and how to control the pest for kalanchoe?

Answer: Ferns will respond well to fertilzers high in nitrogen (the first number on the fertilizer package), and low in phosphorous and potassium (the second and third numbers on the package). You can use a 10-5-5 formula or a 20-10-10 formula for ferns. Apply in amounts and with the frequency as recommended on the fertilizer label.

Kalanchoe can develop scale insects and mealybug infestations. If the plant is overcome with the pests, it's best to toss the plant and replace it. If there are only a few pests, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and dab each pest. When you're finished, rinse the plant off well to remove any alcohol residue.

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