How to care for ferns, or what you need to know about care?

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According to many opinions, ferns are the easiest plants to grow. Nothing could be further from the truth. This plant is very capricious and does not tolerate any mistakes in cultivation. What is worth knowing about the cultivation of ferns?

A few words about the fern

Ferns are among the most popular pot plants grown at home. It is worth growing them, as they look beautiful and purify the air. Unfortunately, not all fern species can grow in the apartment.

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The most popular species of house ferns


Fern grows up to 30 cm high and has dark green jagged leaves. It grows best in a sunny location with diffused light. It requires moderately moist air and soil.

Round-leaved chasteberry

Round-leafed Shadbush grows to a maximum height of 40 cm. It prefers a position with diffused light, but it also tolerates sunny positions. During the growing season it requires 23-25°C, in winter 13-15°C. It needs watering once a week, it tolerates dry air well


Nondescript is a mini fern, most commonly found in Europe. There are no specific requirements for cultivation but it grows best in a place with constant humidity, a temperature of about 25°C and diffused light. If the air is too dry, the fern begins to lose its leaves – therefore, it should be moistened with a flower sprayer. The fern should be fertilized every 2 weeks.

Nephrolepis lofty

Known as the royal fern, Nephrolepis alba grows up to 80 cm. It requires constant spraying of the leaves, temperature above 20°C and a place with diffused light. During the growing season it should be watered twice a week, and in winter once a week is enough. Fertilize it once every two weeks with a fern fertilizer.

Salmon flatwood

Salmon flatwort is a very specific type of fern. It requires a minimum temperature of 24°C in summer and watering once a week, and 15-18°C in winter and watering once every 10 days.

Zanoccica nodosum

Nested arrowhead should be watered 1-2 times a week with a stream of water directed to the center of the rosette and fertilized every 7 days. During the vegetative period the plant must stay at 20°C, in winter at 15°C.

Care of the house fern

  • The fern requires a place with diffused light or in partial shade;
  • The temperature in the room, where the fern is placed, should oscillate around 20°C;
  • The substrate should be constantly moist, but not wet;
  • Air humidity in the room should be above 50%;
  • From March to July the fern should be fertilized weekly, from July to October once every 2-3 weeks, and from October to February it should not be fertilized at all.

Home remedies for strengthening ferns

To strengthen your fern it is a good idea to use:

  • watering with a mixture of water and milk (5:1) and apply once a month;
  • watering with a strong infusion of tea, which is diluted in 1 l of water;
  • tea grounds – soaked tea grounds should be buried in a pot or spread on the soil surface.

Repotting ferns

Ferns don’t like frequent repotting and they grow best in too tight pots (if the pot is too big, the fern starts to get sick) – repotting is done once every few years in the middle of March.

Before repotting, water the fern very heavily, so you can more easily remove the plant from the pot. You can then propagate the plant. It is best to repot the fern into a ceramic pot – no more than 3 cm larger than the previous one. Put stones at the bottom of the pot to act as drainage.

Pruning ferns

Ferns don’t like to be touched, so pruning should be done very gently. The fern also grows whiskers, or aerial roots, which should be pruned regularly because they inhibit the growth of the plant.

Fern diseases

Ferns are plants that often get various diseases or are attacked by various pests. Cultivation mistakes are also not negligible, the symptoms of which are:

  • withering leaf tips – too little humidity;
  • fern turns yellow and loses leaves – the plant is overwatered;
  • leaves wither and turn brown – too little watering.
  • fernloses its color and becomes faded – the plant stands in a place with too much sun.

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The most common diseases of ferns:

  • leaf spot – on the leaves appear distinct gray-brown spots with a dark border, dark clusters of fungi appear, and the fern withers;
  • colletotrichum and Phyllosticta fungal infection – the tops die and twist;
  • spider mites – thrive in too dry air, spray with insecticide;
  • sclerotia – withering leaves with yellow spots;
  • scale moths – withering of the leaves with yellow spots;jumping cones – in order to get rid of them, you need to transplant the fern to another container and dry it.
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