Ferns forum: Autumn ferns "going bald"

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Oct 14, 2017 3:16 PM CST
I have two pretty mature autumn ferns in containers, and both are going a bit "bald" (one more so than the other). By that, I mean the new growth is all on the outside of the plant while the center, which has lost fronds over the years, appears to not be getting any new growth (see photos). Would dividing these help spur new growth? Thanks in advance.

Thumb of 2017-10-14/ShawnC/8428d8 Thumb of 2017-10-14/ShawnC/c1eea6

[Last edited by ShawnC - Oct 14, 2017 3:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Oct 18, 2017 2:57 PM CST
It is hard to know for sure from a photo, but it looks like the soil has gotten too dry and that is what is causing the fronds to die back. Protect your fern from direct sunlight and make sure the soil stays damp at all times.

New fronds will only emerge only at the tip ends of the rhizomes. The only way to get new growth further back is to prune the leggy rhizomes back and shorten them. Root division will not help.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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