Why Did My Boston Ferns Start To Get Brown After I Moved Them Inside? - Knowledgebase Question

Marietta, GA
Question by ecyoung1
February 13, 2000
I got my ferns at the end of last summer. They were growing very nicely and then when it got cold, I brought them inside for the winter. Since then, they have struggled. I have one in a front window that gets morning light and I have another underneath a table that does not get much light. Neither are doing well. Any suggestions?


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Answer from NGA
February 13, 2000

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Moving plants indoors from outdoors can be a real shock to their system because the conditions are usually so different. Yellowing and dropping leaves is a typical reaction.

Ferns like humidity, so increase the humidity by sitting them on top of pebbles on saucers with a half inch or so of water. (Don't let the roots absorb the water.) The water evaporates around them. They also prefer bright to medium light, but not direct sun, so I'd definately move the one under the table. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet. Fertilize with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer at half strength.

In spring, slowly ?harden off? or acclimate your plant to moving back outdoors by putting it outside in a sheltered location for a couple hours at a time, gradually increasing the time period. In fall, do that in reverse, rather than abruptly moving from outside to inside, which will help lessen the shock. I hope this info helps!

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