Ferns forum: Boston Fern Problems

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Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 19, 2015 10:53 PM CST
I have 2 Boston Ferns (Called Jester's Crowns) that look like they've gone through a war. Half of the leaves looked dead, and it seems kind of crunchy. I trimmed off as much of the dead stuff as I could, so they look better, but they're pretty sparse now. My guess is that they got too dry, so I changed out the soil and I'm trying to keep them moist.

Any suggestions?
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 20, 2015 5:55 AM CST
I think you have already done what's necessary, Victoria. I think your "diagnosis" is right-on as well. These ferns do best when kept constantly moist and they become root-bound very quickly, worsening the ability of the potting soil to maintain moisture.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 20, 2015 7:38 AM CST
They were initially in hanging baskets... I changed them to deeper sitting pots. The soil seems a lot looser and it doesn't dry out as fast. I used a 10-10-10 fertilizer on them as well. I put them by a west-facing window - do they need sun or shade?
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 20, 2015 9:36 AM CST
Victoria, I warn all my customers about a west exposure. Between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, the sun is very intense during the spring and summer months, and I suggest you have shading so as not to expose these ferns to the sun during those hours. Early morning or very late afternoon sun is fine.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 20, 2015 7:52 PM CST
My problem here is that the ONLY windows face Northwest.
If it grows, I can kill it.
[Last edited by Vikjk - Aug 20, 2015 7:53 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #933315 (5)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 20, 2015 8:07 PM CST
That is often the situation and thus the problem. At least in the spring and summer months, the sun is at a bit better angle, so you do get more light from the NW quadrant. However, during the fall and winter months, that angle worsens and you are left with more of a northern sun exposure.
Supplemental lighting will help then.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 20, 2015 8:09 PM CST
Will they be okay if I just move them away from the window a few feet? I can't do much about giving them grow lights... Unless I move them to the grow lights and away from natural light. Our grow lights are mounted in the ceiling.. Only 2 of them
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 20, 2015 8:17 PM CST
OK, here's the deal. I can only truly relate to a western exposure. When we start talking about a SE, a NE, a NW.........well, you see. Everything gets kind of muddled. What may be too intense, too hot in a pure western exposure, may be tolerable in a NW exposure. You might want to just put a thermometer inside that window, positioned a foot from the glass, and see how hot it really gets. I have a temperature monitor outside my front door, against the brick facing, and the door faces true-west. When the outside temperature at 5:00 PM is 90F, the temperature on the brick at my front door registers 120F. There's the problem. Only checking the temperature will tell you. Plant damage comes from those infra-red rays, and a thermometer gives an indication of that.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 20, 2015 10:28 PM CST
Oh yikes Blinking that's crazy. I'll see what I can do. If I'm supposed to keep these plants in a good, sellable condition... I better find out, hm?
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 21, 2015 5:18 AM CST
I bet y'all sell thermometers. Just hang or place one of those, still packaged, near a window that gets full sun. You will get different measurements as you back away from the window, do check again 2' and then 4' away.

Good luck, Victoria.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 21, 2015 6:13 AM CST
Yes, we do. I'll try that. Thank you for all of your help; I really do appreciate it!
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 21, 2015 6:50 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 21, 2015 3:28 PM CST
I did that, and forgot to look at it before I left work Thumbs down it was 70 degrees around 2pm though.
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 21, 2015 4:44 PM CST
I don't think 70F would be any problem at all. 4:00 PM might be higher though. It is here inside my west facing windows. 4:00-5:30 PM is the hottest.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 21, 2015 10:13 PM CST
I'll check it on Monday, unless I end up there around 4 tomorrow.. I'm planning on redoing a fairy garden tomorrow since I don't have to work Rolling my eyes.
If it grows, I can kill it.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 21, 2015 10:39 PM CST
Could you bear to divide/saw one of those ferns into four pieces (maybe two)? It sounds like they were crowded in the baskets. Now they are possibly going dormant. You'd give them room to grow and be able to keep them watered and fertilized sufficiently to bounce back in spring. I don't think western exposure in Nebraska is as brutal as it would be in the southern states.
Name: Victoria J.
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Nursery/Garden Center Employee
Image
Vikjk
Aug 21, 2015 11:13 PM CST
I can't really do that, as I would have to reprice everything and the stress might kill them... They're not mine, so I don't have liberty to do that.
If it grows, I can kill it.
[Last edited by Vikjk - Aug 21, 2015 11:13 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #933943 (17)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 22, 2015 5:39 AM CST
I was going to suggest the same, Sandi, but then remembered that these plants are only being cared for by Victoria, rather than owned by her. You are absolutely correct, the further north you go the less intense is that western sun.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Aug 22, 2015 7:44 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.

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