proper care and feeding of boston fern

maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)December 15, 2006

Hi, I recently bought a boston fern from a dept store. At first it did great, almost looked fake it was so lush and pretty. I had it my bathroom where there is a sky light and lots of moisture from the shower. I also steamed it about once a week by running the shower and keeping the door closed all day so it would get a lot of moisture. Now I see there is a lot of drying out on the stems, when I run my fingers down the stem the leaves just fall off. I moved it to my bedroom as I was afraid the heat from the bathroom (furnace vent) was drying it out. But is still seems to be dry. Is it dry or maybe too wet and dying from that. I do keep it fairly moist, not spongy tho. Please help.

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Boston fern is a weed species. In my neck of the woods, coastal central California, it grows outside and can be invasive. I have it running amuck in my back yard!

I think that the first thing to consider is your water.
Are you using softened water? If so then that is the problem. Use rain, distilled, or deionized or reverse osmosis water for your plant. If it is in regular potting soil then water once a week and that should be enough. This fern can handle some degree of dryness.
You may want to tap the plant out of its pot and look at the roots. One problem that I have noticed are mealybug in the roots of this type of fern. If you see alot of white fluffy stuff along the roots then I would dump the plant and buy a new one. In fact I would be glad to send you some for postage!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:13PM
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