Boston Ferns Care and Keeping

Jenn Dynys
by Jenn Dynys
3 Materials
1 Hour

In this post I show you how I care for my Boston Ferns. From purchasing, repotting and care through the Summer, I've got some tips for you!

Don't you just love Boston Ferns? I love them hanging all around a big front porch. However, they can be expensive to buy when they are huge and lush. $12 a piece usually, times six or seven plants can really add up! Here are some tips for saving money and growing huge and lush ferns.

Step 1: Buy some clearance ferns late in spring. My husband picked these up for $2.50 a piece! Now, they looked a little forlorn, however with good care they perked right up and flourished! You can see how root bound this plant was! There is no way they can get the water they need in the pot they come in with the roots bound up like that! You must re-pot the fern to a larger pot if you want it to do well! Put a bit of soil in a larger pot.

These came in a 10" 1.5 gallon pot. I potted them in a 12" pot. I reuse my hanging baskets year after year, but I do replace the wire hangers every year to keep them looking nice.Step 2: Loosen the roots and re-pot to a hanging basket that is at least two inches larger than the one it was in. Put a bit of soil in the bottom and then pack the new soil all around and on top. This can get a bit messy as there isn't tons of new room.

This can get a bit messy as there isn't tons of new room.

Just use your hands to really pack the dirt around the plant.

Step 3: Hang in a mostly shady location. Ferns do not like direct sun. They will quickly show you this by turning brown and dropping their fronds. A porch that gets morning sun is a fine place, just so long as it is shaded from hot afternoon sun.Step 4: Water regularly. Ferns need lots of water, especially as the weather gets hot. In our climate, (Central Missouri) I can get by with drenching them every two or three days most of the season. If it rains, I run out and put them in the yard so they can get good and soaked! If you live in a dry climate without much humidity, you may want to mist them regularly as well. We have lots of humidity here, so that is not a problem.Step 5: Fertilize about once a month. If you want your ferns to stay nice and green giving them a little extra nourishment about once a month, maybe every two weeks if they look yellow.

Here is a picture of the same ferns in the Fall. They grew so huge!I always feel sad when the first frost comes, because I don't know what to do with my ferns! I have not had luck overwintering them in the basement, they just never came out of it. Ferns make great houseplants, so bringing one or two in for the winter is a good option. However, you will really have to keep up with misting them through the dry winter months! They need humidity!I hope you found this post helpful! Ferns are such a beautiful addition to any home! Check out my blog if you are interested in another planting project or spring inspiration!

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Jenn Dynys
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  3 questions
  • Shawna Shawna on Mar 01, 2020

    Have you ever split them? Wandering if they would survive that?

  • Tammy VanGilder Tammy VanGilder on Mar 02, 2020

    What kind of fertilizer do you use on them. I’ve had mine for 5 years. They take a little hit in winter but summer they are beautiful. I’m thinking of putting them in the ground . I live in Northern California so weather is good. We don’t get frost too often.

  • Tex21773744 Tex21773744 on Mar 19, 2020

    Do you the potting soil advertised?

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  • Sheryl Kauffman Sheryl Kauffman on Mar 21, 2020

    I to always have ferns.. my tip to keep them growing well is find a bowl big enough to hold your pot of ferns.. add water n put fern pot into to soak from the bottom up this at least once a week ..

  • Laura Mosely Laura Mosely on Mar 22, 2020

    Just got 3 beautiful ferns & will try the fertilizing & soaking in water once a week. thanks for the info