why is my fern dying like this??? photo!!

trace00969April 10, 2007

I bought this a couple months ago and ever since it has been going downhill.....I had it in filtered light, but t o no avail, so now its in the shade.....what am I doing wrong??


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

These are difficult ferns to grow inside, if that's what you are trying to do. Maidenhair does so much better in high humidity locations.

Can't really tell what the problems might all be: I'd guess lack of humidity, spider mites, powdery mildew just to name three that can cause those kinds of symptoms. The soil looks bone dry, but that could just be the image.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:41PM
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I watered it right after i took the pic, and it seems to be just drying up and falling away....I do spray it a couple times a day, so I guess this isnt enough....so far I havent noticed spider mites in any of my plants, but I really would not know what to look for....what is powdery mildew?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 3:08PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

That soil looks awfully dry. My guess is that you just aren't watering it enough. I'm also guessing that you recently repotted it, as the pot seems much too large for the plant. It looks like there is too much peat in the soil, which is very difficult to get wet once it dries out.

I've had good luck growing maidenhair ferns indoors, even during the winter with low humidity, as long as they NEVER dry out. The best I ever grew were on wicked containers (a wick, really just a piece of string, runs from the bottom of the pot into a reservoir that ensures a constant supply of water, as long as you keep it filled!).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 11:36AM
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I agree with others that the soil looks too dry for this fern, I try to make sure mine never dries out. Also, I once got a maidenhair that was in really bad soil, so I figured I had to get as much of old soil as possible when repotting -- so I really disturbed the roots -- the fern started drying up right away. Every day I'd come back and see 2-3 more fronds dry -- and they weren't yellowing, just drying, crisping up while remaining green, and they had this weak smell of freshly cut grass -- till all the fronds died (when I had a maidenhair in low humidity, some fronds would drie up, but they would yellow/brown up first). Maybe something like this is happening to your fern? Have you repotted recently? I kept mine for a month or a month and a half after the fronds died, hoping it would grow back, since I read that ferns often do grow back in a few month after they die back from stress. But then I had someone else water my plants for a while, and this person forgot to water this empty-looking pot -- so I never fond out if it would come back. When I got another maidenhair, I repoted it by just moving the entire rootball... I don't know, I guess they should be able to tolerate *some* disturbance to the roots -- after all, I read that they can be divided successfully. But I think when they are divided, it is recommended to cut off all the fronds -- so maybe it's normal for this fern to lose fronds when roots are disturbed.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 11:29PM
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I would not only say that your soil seems to be dryed out, but it looks very poor to. You schould try to make a mixture of 1/3 sand, 1/3 compost or peat and 1/3 loam, this mixture will hold it's moisture much longer and is goog food for your plant. Do not try to mix under any furtilizers, furns do like them so much.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 9:10PM
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Ditto the above about better soil and constant, even moisture. Your soil also looks to be lacking organic matter, which is important to fern vitality. My ferns thrive in highly organic, moist soil that looks nothing like your photo. I have ferns indoors in pots and outdoors in the garden. I never let them dry out and I add compost every year. Even my rescue ferns form the box stores recover nicely when put into the proper conditions.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:52AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

It looks far too dry and the soil needs changing to one that holds moisture better. It looks like its in peat or some other soil less compost and thats not good for thirsty plants like ferns. Put it somewhere humid too like the bathroom so when someone takes a bath or shower the plant will benefit.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:00AM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

My boston fern is in my bathroom where it gets a lot of moisture from the showers (2 per day) and there is a sky light in there as well, mine too was drying up but still getting new growth. What I did was put a pan of water under it and kept it full of water, the water would leach up into the plant as well as evaporate up thru the foiage. Within a few months all of the dryness was gone and it looks like something that just came from the greenhouse. Another thing I heard ferns don't like is cigarette smoke, if you are a smoker move it to where there is no smoke. I am a smoker and I have killed many ferns but this one does ok cuz I don't smoke in my bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 12:49PM
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