Problem with my ferns. - Knowledgebase Question

Georgetown, Te
Question by elainep585
June 16, 2010
I have 2 ferns. One I know is a Boston fern, not sure about the other. They are in a bright room in front of a window with blinds that i leave open. The window does not get direct sunlight. I've tried watering once a week and once every other day as it says here. my problem is that the leaves are turning brown & falling off. Help!

Answer from NGA
June 16, 2010


Water stress can make leaves turn brown but so can dry air. Boston ferns like moist soils and appreciate being misted to increase humidity in the air. You can't really water on a schedule like once a week or every other day. Instead, you need to poke your finger down into the soil. If it is moist, you won't need to water; if it feels dry, it's time to water. One common problem with growing plants in containers is that air pockets can form in the root area and even though you water regularly, the water can bypass that dry soil and run out the drainage holes. Try immersing the containers in a larger container of water and letting it soak for about 10 minutes, or until no more air bubbles rise to the surface. This will completely saturate the soil and drive out any air pockets. Allow the excess water to drain out and then set your ferns back in their usual spots. Check the soil every few days and water when it feels dry a half inch below the surface. I hope your ferns perk up soon!

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