Ask a Question forum: I need help with my plants!

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Name: Lea
May 2, 2017 1:25 AM CST
Hello, I recently got these plants, about a month or so and now they look really bad(or so I think), I live a dorm and I barely have sunlight (around 12 is where I get the most sunlight). The place I got them from was Macy's Spring show and they looked fine but now... Idk what's happening? They were inside for the whole duration so I don't think its sunlight but IDK. I'd love if someone could tell me what can I do to get them healthy again. All the ferns I get seem to die and that the plant I've been wanting to have the most. Sad Also identifying the other plant that's not the Boston fern.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
May 2, 2017 7:49 AM CST
Lea - even ferns like to have some light but I understand dorms don't offer much. The plants were probably coddled well before the spring show. Can you rig up a desk or floor lamp with some fluorescent bulbs? Misting the plants would be good if indoor humidity is low. Maybe a little desk fan to gently move the air around them?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 2, 2017 9:30 AM CST
Your fern that's not a Boston Fern is a Brake fern - Pteris cretica.

Both ferns require bright light, high humidity and constantly moist soil. Along with misting, put them on a humidity tray. And get that lamp.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
May 2, 2017 9:38 AM CST
I agree, the unidentified fern is Pteris, there are a couple in our database with photos for comparison:
Bird's Foot Fern (Pteris cretica 'Albolineata')
Pteris cretica var. cretica
Table Fern (Pteris cretica 'Mayi')

The Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) I'd cut back and water well.

I agree, that both prefer very bright light (no direct sun) and they are extreme humidity lovers.

~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
May 2, 2017 9:57 AM CST
That is a difficult plant to try to keep alive in a dorm room. Why don't you try some of the easier ones like a Pothos, a Sansevieria (also known as mother-in-law tongue, ivy, or small cactus?
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
May 5, 2017 9:12 AM CST
Thank you for the tip, Lea! Good luck finding some easy greenery for your room! I had an ivy plant in mine years ago. It trailed from it's pot all around the room. I stapled it to the wall. Rolling on the floor laughing
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
May 6, 2017 9:17 AM CST
If you don't have a good match between the available light and the light requirements of a particular plant species, then nothing else you do will help long-term.

The best small low light plants are ZZ Plant, Pothos, and Chinese evergreen. Ferns do not like direct sunlight, but they need more than the low light you seem to have.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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