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How to care for ferns?

Posted by chiggerbait_ar z7 AR (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 10, 06 at 8:33

I'm sure this has been addressed several times but I'm not able to find any threads that answer my questions.
DW brought home 4 Boston Ferns in hanging pots for the front porch. The instructions were to keep soil uniformly moist and fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks.
Can not even feel the soil for the roots, assume root bound, need to repot? What is best medium to repot into and do the ferns need a special pot? i.e. self watering, water from bottom. What is the best way to water and how often?
What is the best fertilizer and how often?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to care for ferns?

Hi Chigger,

I found this information very helpful. Hope it helps you too

Boston fern requires indirect or diffused lighting. Boston ferns growing under artificial or natural light requires from twelve to sixteen hours of light each day.

During active growth, these plants should be watered on a regular basis in order for the soil to remain moist. Distilled water is preferred over tap water because tap water often contains harmful chlorine. It is recommended that the Boston fern is allowed to become dry between times of watering in fall and winter months. Set a potted fern in a basin of water so it can soak up the moisture naturally.

Maintaining proper levels of temperature and humidity are necessary for successful growth of the Boston fern. Boston ferns like cool locations with lots of humidity. If the air in your home is too dry, operating a humidifier will greatly increase the humidity level. Misting your Boston fern each day will also provide much needed humidity. When the leaves and fronds of the Boston fern become dry and brown, they should be removed in order to maintain an attractive appearance.

Water-soluble plant food applied once every two weeks during the warmer months is recommended. During winter fertilizer should be applied monthly. To help achieve a rich, green color, the Boston fern can be given a mixture of two tablespoons of Epsom salts per gallon of water. The same article says this mixture can be applied two times per year.

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