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Albuquerque, NM
hasmall608
May 11, 2018 6:24 PM CST
Hello,
I purchased this Maidenhair Fern two weeks ago and it's starting to yellow and some of the tips are very slightly browning. I've got this super great book that helps with trouble shooting plants but I cannot seem to figure out exactly what the deal is since yellowing is happening from the bottom of the stems up as well as intermittently top, down. Am I overwatering? Underwatering? Giving it too much light? I will be buying a pebble tray this weekend to try to increase the humidity but if I'm doing something else wrong I'm really hoping to figure that out for certain to attempt to not kill this little guy as he's become my favorite plant.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 11, 2018 6:59 PM CST
Welcome!

Maidenhair Ferns are beautiful but picky. I doubt its possible to over-water a Maidenhair as long as you don't let it sit in water. High humidity is a must though - you can provide that by keeping it in a bathroom or over the kitchen sink or on a humidity tray. Maidenhairs need bright indirect light. A north or East facing window is ideal.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 11, 2018 7:06 PM CST
I've never managed to keep one in the house, except the time I had it in a terrarium. It loved the humidity and lived about 5 years before I neglected it and it died. Keeping very high humidity around it really helps.
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Albuquerque, NM
hasmall608
May 11, 2018 7:14 PM CST
Thank you plantmanager and daisyl. It would be my luck that the ONE plant I really loved while shopping would be one of the difficult ones (green thumbs I do not have). I'll work on increasing humidity and see where it goes from there. Smiling Thank You!
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 11, 2018 8:11 PM CST
To the people that know,

How about misting with a water bottle? I raised chameleons in a screened terrarium with ficus and misted them throughout the day. Kept the humidity up and the lizard hydrated both through his licking of the water droplets and his skin. He needed high humidity and that was a major way I achieved that. Would that help her with the fern? The misting?

😀

Mindi
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 11, 2018 8:15 PM CST
Misting inside a terrarium= humidity.
Misting outside a terrarium, normal home= no benefit.
Pebble trays= humidity benefit questionable at best.

i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 11, 2018 8:37 PM CST
Misting = ruined furniture. The humidity will be higher for the 3 seconds you mist and that is it. The humidity tray needs to be large enough to be under the entire plant.

Humidity is going to be a continuing problem in Albuquerque. A terrarium or a humidifier would probably be best but, a steamy bathroom with a window would also be good. Or over the kitchen sink. Or a large humidity tray.

I've had them growing wild in my Greenhouse for years (I am from CA and two types of Maidenhair ferns native to my area came with me) - they come up in orchid pots and cactus pots, it doesn't seem to matter. The common denominator is humidity.
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

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Albuquerque, NM
hasmall608
May 11, 2018 9:17 PM CST
I'd really love to try a terrarium but I've never had one. Are they largely self maintaining or are they something you have to have a lot of experience to create/manage properly?

I don't have a window in my bathroom but I usually shower in the evenings so at the moment I'm putting the plant in the bathroom when I shower then leave it there overnight with the door shut, moving it to the window when I leave for work...but it doesn't sound like that is sufficient long term and that a terrarium is really the best solution for longer term, consistent humidity (the kitchen sink is also challenging as well because there is no space between the sink and the backsplash, and my backsplash rises almost a foot above the sink to an open bar top which also just so happens to be in front of the three primary air conditioner/heating vents for the main living space....its an apartment).


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 12, 2018 6:14 AM CST
Maidenhairs are very unforgiving of any lapses in their care. They don't like to have their roots disturbed. They want soil that is damp, but not wet and never dry. If you are off by even a day with watering, you will see lots of yellowed fronds. The leaves also bruise very easily when handled, even gently.

Provide lots of bright but indirect light such as you get on a north windowsill. IF it is too far from a window it will get yellowed fronds. Cool temps are also best. Pay very close attention to the watering and use filtered or distilled if your tap water is on the hard side. Don't fertilize it.

High humidity is very beneficial, but not essential if watering is done just right. I agree with Sally's summation of humidity. I will add that bathrooms don't help much either because the humidity raised by the shower doesn't last that long each day. NOt sure it's worth moving it back and forth each day.

Maidenhairs grow too large for all but very large terrariums. Probably not a good option for yours.

Do trim off any fronds that have yellowed as they will not recover.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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Albuquerque, NM
hasmall608
May 12, 2018 2:32 PM CST
Thanks so much to everyone for your input. I greatly appreciate it all!

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