Nothing feels worse than seeing your beloved plant wilting away. Underwatering can cause severe damage to houseplants, especially leafy ones like Boston ferns.
Today, we’ll discuss under-watered Boston ferns and how to take good care of them until they’re alive once more.
So, read on to learn about underwatered ferns, how to recognize the problem, and how to fix it.
There are some signs that you can look for to identify if your Boston fern is dying due to under-watering. These symptoms are:
- The soil of your Boston fern has been dry for a long time. This is something you can check using your fingertips
- The leaves and the white fronds on your Boston fern are dry. At this point, your plant is crying for help
- Leaves are falling off your Boston fern. This is caused by being severely under-watered
- Yellow and wilted leaves appearing
- The leave edges get crunchy and fragile to the touch
If there’s at least one green, healthy leaf on your Boston fern, then this plant can still be revived. There are some steps you need to take in order to bring back your Boston fern to life. These include:
- Get rid of any dead foliage. The leaves won’t magically come back to life once they have died off, so it’s better to just cut them off altogether. Even partially dry leaves can be trimmed
- Give the Boston fern the water it needs. If the soil is completely dry, you’ll need to soak it in water for about an hour
- Ensure that all extra water drains through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot
- Keep the pot moist for the saving process. Under-watered plants need extra attention to be revived
- If you notice that the soil you’re using drains water too rapidly or too slowly, try using a different soil. Boston ferns thrive in rich loamy soil, and they need good drainage to avoid getting root rot.
Make it habitual to water your Boston fern plant frequently to prevent the plant from being under-watered. If you tend to forget it, these are a few tips to help you with watering your plant:
- Put the plant somewhere visible or somewhere you go to a lot. That way, you’d be able to notice if it starts to show any under-watering symptoms
- Take a few moments of your day three times a week to check on the dampness of the soil
- Try to set alarms, use paper and a pen, or use an online application to keep watering a part of your weekly routine
- You can try getting a self-watering pot if all else fails.
In order to water your Boston fern plant correctly, you’d need to follow some essential steps:
- Test the soil with your fingertips to check whether it’s dry or not
- You can also check the amount of moisture in the pot by how heavy it feels. If it’s heavy, then it’s not dry. Leave it as it is and check it a couple of days later
- Water your Boston fern thoroughly
- Use room-temperature water as this replicates the natural conditions in which Boston Ferns grow
- After the water starts to run from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, let the Boston fern drain all the excess water
- Keep it somewhere far from direct sun rays. Find a nice shady spot and let it be its home
- Keep all your Boston ferns together to care for all of them at the same time. This will help you nourish them all at once without forgetting to water one of them.
If you’re still not sure if your Boston fern is dying from being under-watered, there are other conditions that could cause your plant to look ill. These conditions include:
Over-watering your Boston ferns can lead to root rot and would cause the appearance of fungus in the extra-moist soil. Keeping track of when exactly to water your plant will help you avoid over-watering.
Boston ferns require a high percentage of humidity to survive. Thus, if you have low humidity where your plant is, it’ll start drying and withering.
It’s not recommended to mist the plant because it still won’t get enough moisture. Instead, it’s better if you place the Boston ferns on a tray of pebbles and water to allow the water to reach the foliage. Or, you can always use a humidifier.
If your Boston fern is exposed to a lot of direct sunlight, it may get sunburn. These plants are used to growing under the shades of the larger trees away from direct sunlight.
Therefore, keep the sunlight indirect, and make sure your plant is settling in the shades to avoid dehydration.
Boston ferns are unable to withstand abrupt temperature fluctuations. Their preferred range of temperatures is from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the plant is exposed to high temperatures or frosty climates, it goes into shock.
Therefore, if you must replace your Boston fern from indoors to outside in the garden, try to take a few preparatory steps to make the plant more ready to be placed outside.
For instance, you can introduce the plant to the outdoor weather for a few hours every day until it’s out in the garden for good.
Taking care of an under-watered Boston fern is not at all troublesome. All you have to do is pay more attention and keep track of the watering schedule.
Caring for your Boston ferns provides you with a great view to sit and stare at, a cleaner ambiance, and great company.
Look for any symptoms your Boston fern shows, and take care of it with love and patience.
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.