The Q&A Archives: Boston Fern

Question: I have a Boston Fern that I put outside for the summer. By the time winter came it was too large to bring in the house. It survived the winter on the back porch but a few harsh freezes in the spring have taken their toll. The fern is still alive, but only half of it. What do you suggest to return the plant to health?

Answer: It's probably best to unpot the fern, cut away the dead leaves and roots, and repot it into fresh soil. Then put it outdoors in a shady location for the summer. There's no guarantee the plant will survive another winter on your porch - how about taking a cutting and bringing it indoors in the fall? Just remove the fern from the pot and slice off a healthy portion of roots with a few fronds attached. Pot it up and take it indoors for the winter. Then in the spring you can take the plant outdoors again.

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