Ask a Question forum: Australian Tree Fern - Dry Brittle Leaves

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Orange County, CA
NewFernOwner
Nov 5, 2017 4:26 PM CST
Hello! I purchased a small Australian Tree Fern about 3 weeks ago. It has produced two new fronds but the others appear to be dying. The leaves are dry and brittle but not brown. The stems look like they are withering. My fern is inside and has plenty of indirect sunlight (taken outside for pictures). I mist the fern and keep the soil moist, watering every three days or so. I lightly mist daily (too often?) What am I doing wrong? Should I cut back the fronds that appear dead? Will they bounce back if I leave them? Thank you in advance for your help!
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 5, 2017 4:45 PM CST
Hi and welcome! Your poor fern sure does look rather sad. I have a huge 12ft. one out in my garden, and about the only thing I can tell you for sure about it is there's no such thing as too much humidity for these plants. Keep a spray bottle near it, and spritz it as often as you walk by. Your ambient air there in California is probably pretty dry so - go for it. I never fertilize my fern, it gets watered by micro sprinklers once a week through our dry season and gets a ton of rain from June to September, sometimes inches per day. (we got 12in in two days when Harvey went by us, and 14in. from Irma in one day). As long as there is good drainage in the pot, you really can't over water it.

This plant has most likely lived its whole life in a greenhouse, where there is tons of light and tons of humidity. Maybe you can keep it near the kitchen sink, or in your bathroom for a while, where there's bound to be more humidity? Leave the sink with some water in it all day to help with that. (it's good for people too)
Elaine

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 5, 2017 4:51 PM CST
The two new fronds indicate your fern is acclimating to its new living conditions. Cut the dry fronds off and keep doing what you are doing.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Nov 5, 2017 8:07 PM CST
This Fern does struggle indoors, but it can withstand cold winter temps as long as it does not drop below freezing. I am guessing that Orange Co has few if any sub-freezing day. If so, it is better to keep it outside whenever possible. If you have to keep in inside, then if you can keep it cool and in reduced light it will go semi-dormant and be better able to withstand lower humidity in winter.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Contact me directly at [email protected]
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Orange County, CA
NewFernOwner
Nov 5, 2017 9:12 PM CST
Thank you all SO much!!!
Orange County, CA
NewFernOwner
Dec 21, 2017 10:41 PM CST
Hello!!!! My fern was thriving after I cut the dead fronds off. Lots of new growth! Pictures of the progress below. However, over the last week I have noticed that the tips of the fronds are brown. Can anyone help me out? I haven't done anything differently.
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Orange County, CA
NewFernOwner
Dec 21, 2017 10:43 PM CST
Here are the pictures of the brown tips....
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Dec 22, 2017 3:03 PM CST
Used to have an Australian Tree Fern that was planted outside in Riverside Ca, the spot was fairly protected faced SE, never had to do much to it.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Dec 22, 2017 5:19 PM CST
Is it being hit by the air from a heater vent?
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 22, 2017 6:03 PM CST
You have done an excellent job of restoring your Fern to good health! Hurray! The tip browning is minor and not a reason to make any radical changes. Possible causes include dry air, excess heat, direct sun or less than perfect watering. This Fern is not an easy plant indoors and is not very forgiving of even minor lapses in water, humidity, temperature, and light. Experiment a bit with some of these variables and see how your Fern responds. But don't go crazy!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Orange County, CA
NewFernOwner
Dec 26, 2017 11:15 AM CST
Thank you Will!! Thank you Daisy.....It may have been from the vent when I turned the heat on. Darn it!

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