Has your Boston fern seen better days? Normally, these houseplants look really nice and add a lot of aesthetic appeal to whatever room you put them in.
If you’ve made some mistakes caring for the plant, it might be experiencing various issues. Perhaps the plant appears to be droopy or it might be on the verge of death.
What can be done to revive a Boston fern? What should you do when you’re trying to turn things around and get the plant looking nice again?
Continue reading to learn about the process of reviving Boston ferns. Once you’ve read everything, you should understand what your options are.
Determine What’s Wrong
Determining what’s wrong with the Boston fern will be the first step to reviving it. If your Boston fern appears to be dying, you need to know what’s going on.
There could be several different things happening to the plant. If you can turn things around, you can attempt to get the plant back to being healthy again.
Below, you’ll learn about many things that can cause Boston ferns to die. Address these issues if they’re what’s causing your plant to have a tough time.
Making the necessary adjustments should allow you to get better results. You can keep on enjoying your plant and you’ll know more about what mistakes to avoid moving forward.
It’s possible that watering issues could be to blame for the current state of your Boston fern. There could be a few different things going on that are causing issues.
Watering Boston ferns too much will be extremely detrimental. These plants don’t do well when people water them too much.
You’re supposed to keep the soil moist, but you’re not meant to make the soil soggy. The plant needs to dry out a little bit between watering sessions.
You should only water the Boston fern when the soil has started to become dry. Use your fingers to see if the soil is just starting to get a bit dry. Keep the soil moist without making it soggy. This will give you the best experience.
Of course, it’s also possible to water the plant too little. If you keep the soil too dry, the Boston fern is going to suffer.
You need to check the soil more often to see when you need to water the plant. Good watering habits are imperative when you’re trying to keep a plant in good health.
In some cases, it’ll be tough to recover when you’re making watering mistakes. For example, watering too much can lead to root rot and that can kill the plant.
You can try to prune the plant and get rid of rotting sections. Then you can try to baby the plant and hope that it survives.
Problems with Pests
Pests can be a real nuisance and they have the potential to kill your houseplants. You should check to see if there are any signs of pests on your Boston ferns.
Sometimes pests can be incredibly hard to spot. For example, spider mites are notoriously difficult to see with the naked eye. You might notice them better with a magnifying glass, but you could also look for the little webs that they leave behind.
Eventually, you might notice signs of pests or you might spot the pests themselves. Signs of pest infestation include stunted growth, yellowing leaves, damaged leaves, and discolored spots on the plant. Thankfully, you can get rid of pests fairly easily in most cases.
There are treatments that you can use on your houseplants to kill various pests. Sometimes you might need to use insecticidal soap or other such treatments.
You can also protect your plant from future pest issues. Many people treat their plants with neem oil to prevent pests from being a big problem.
Continuing to care for the plant after getting rid of the pests can turn everything around. You can revive the plant and make it look nice again.
Did you know that humidity issues can cause Boston ferns to look rough? Perhaps your plant is in an environment that is far too dry.
If you live in an area of the world where it’s rather dry, it’ll be necessary to take steps to protect your plant. This isn’t hard to do, but you must take action.
Some people improve the humidity in their homes by misting the plants regularly. You can also add dishes of water near the plants to improve the humidity levels.
It might be even more convenient to simply purchase a small humidifier for your plants. This can help you to get the humidity level in the house perfect for the plants. A small humidifier is good because it’ll increase the humidity specifically near the plants.
You want the plant area to be humid, but you don’t necessarily want every part of your house to be humid. It might be good to buy a humidity meter for your home, too. This will allow you to see how humid it is near the plants to get an idea of whether all is well.
Improper sunlight conditions can kill your Boston fern. Perhaps it isn’t getting as much light as it needs to thrive.
Boston ferns are going to do best when exposed to indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight is often too harsh and will cause issues such as scorching.
If you can find a spot for your houseplant where it can receive bright indirect sunlight, it’ll be easier to get good results. This should allow you to revive the plant and get it looking nice again.
Try to find a window for the plant where it can receive morning sunlight. Morning sunlight isn’t as harsh as the hot afternoon sunlight.
Generally, these plants won’t die because of getting too little light. They can start to look pretty bad when they don’t get sun, though.
Make a few changes and you’ll be happy with how much things improve. Your Boston fern will start to look great once more.
Have you been giving the plant too much fertilizer? Fertilizer can be beneficial for Boston ferns, but using too much of it will be a poor choice.
Too much fertilizer can cause your plant to have stunted growth. This occurs because too many minerals are present in the soil.
Use fertilizer sparingly and be sure to dilute the fertilizer before using it. You typically don’t want to use fertilizer when it’s at full strength.
Don’t fertilize these plants more often than you should. You only want to give Boston ferns fertilizer during the spring and summer months.
Even then, you’re only supposed to give the plant fertilizer once per month. Using fertilizer more often than this can cause serious issues.
You’ll wind up doing the opposite of what you wanted to do if you’re not careful. Always be mindful that fertilizer can be a bad thing if you don’t use it cautiously.
Prune the Plant
Pruning the plant is a good idea when you’re trying to revive it. You should try to get rid of old growth and dead sections of the plant.
When looking at the Boston fern, you might notice spots that are yellow or brown. Discolored fronds should be removed during the pruning process.
Use a sharp part of shears to make cuts at the base of the plant. To protect the plant, be sure to sterilize the shears ahead of time.
Cutting away parts of the plant can help new growth form. The plant won’t have to devote energy to the dying or old fronds any longer.
Take the time to remove brown and yellow fronds by cutting them at the base. You should also remove any legless runners that you find on the plant.
Pruning Boston ferns is a good idea when you want them to look nice under normal circumstances. Even if you’re not trying to revive the plant, it makes sense to trim it semi-regularly.
You can make the plant more attractive by giving it a pleasing shape. If you don’t do this, the Boston fern will likely experience erratic growth.
If you must, you can try to cut the plant down to the base in an attempt to revive it. You might do this if the plant is in very poor condition and you’re simply trying to start over.
It’s recommended to do this in either the spring or the fall if necessary. Hopefully, just pruning the plant and caring for it optimally will help you to bring it back.
Boston Ferns Are Hard to Kill
Understand that Boston ferns are fairly easy plants to care for. They’re not easy to kill.
Even if several of the issues above are impacting your plant, it’s possible to turn things around. Make positive changes for the plant and be sure to take good care of it in the future.
Reviving the plant is mostly about correcting mistakes. You want to stop doing things wrong and start caring for the plant better.
Pruning the plant can help and so can learning how to do things properly. Be careful when watering the plant and do your best to give it optimal conditions.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.