This fallen tree has been cut through by maintenance workers to keep the trail clear

Ferns: Low Maintenance or High Maintenance?

Ferns are a popular choice for indoor and outdoor plants due to their lush, verdant appearance and ability to thrive in a variety of environments. But do they require a lot of maintenance?

In this blog, we’ll explore the specific fern maintenance needs and provide tips on how to keep your ferns healthy and thriving, especially if you do not wish to eradicate them from your garden.

Watering Needs

Ferns prefer consistently moist soil, but they do not tolerate standing water. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

A general rule of thumb is to water your fern once a week, or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. It’s also a good idea to use a moisture meter to ensure that you’re providing the optimal amount of moisture for your fern.

If you’re growing your fern in a pot without drainage holes, be sure to empty the drainage tray after watering to prevent excess moisture from accumulating.

Ferns are easy to grow and require little maintenance
Ferns are easy to grow and require little maintenance

Lighting Needs

Ferns are generally tolerant of a range of lighting conditions, but they do best in indirect or filtered light. Avoid placing your fern in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves and lead to leaf loss.

If you’re growing your fern indoors, a north- or east-facing window is usually the best location. Outdoor ferns can be grown in partial shade or dappled sunlight.

If you notice that your fern’s leaves are turning yellow or brown, it could be a sign that it’s not getting enough light. On the other hand, if the leaves are becoming bleached or pale, they may be getting too much light.

Fertilizing Needs

Ferns benefit from fertilization, but they do not require a lot of additional nutrients. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer applied at half strength every month during the growing season (spring and summer) should be sufficient.

Avoid fertilizing during the dormant season (fall and winter), as the plant’s growth slows down and it does not require as many nutrients.

Pest Control

Ferns are generally resistant to pests, but they can sometimes be affected by common indoor plant pests such as aphids, mites, and scales.

To prevent pests, keep your fern healthy by providing the proper care (such as proper watering and lighting) and regularly inspecting the plant for signs of infestation. If you do notice pests, treat them promptly with an appropriate pest control product.

Maintained walking track through woodlands
Maintained walking track through woodlands

Pruning Needs

Ferns do not require a lot of pruning, but they may benefit from occasional trimming to remove any dead or damaged fronds.

To prune your fern, simply use clean, sharp scissors to cut off the affected fronds at the base. Avoid over-pruning, as this can lead to an unhealthy plant.

Overall, ferns are relatively low-maintenance plants that are well-suited for both indoor and outdoor environments. With proper care, your fern will thrive and bring a touch of nature to your home or garden.

In conclusion

Overall, ferns are not a difficult plant to take care of and can be used to add some greenery to nearly any space. With the right soil mix, ideal temperature range, proper watering schedule, and occasional misting or fertilizer application they will thrive in many different environments.

When it comes down to it, caring for ferns is mostly about being mindful of their needs and providing them with what they need when they need it.