Ferns

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I bought two ferns to put on my screened porch which also has roll-up blinds for the sun. I've been watering and misting both ferns and one is doing great and the other isn't. Any suggestions?
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Which type of fern is it?

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Cereus-validus....... wrote:

It's a Cinnamon fern.
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JC wrote:

Still looking for some suggestions about the care and feeding of ferns. TIA
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All ferns are extremely sensitive to overfeeding. Many ferns especially those which are evergreen fare best if never fertilized at all except with mulch. An inch of mulch made of crumbled leaves or leafmold kept moist restores nutrients by keeping microorganisms alive; if the soil ever seriously dries out completely the microrganisms may be insufficient to keep the soil healthy.
The more delicate, faster growing, or deciduous ferns especially if potted will need an extremely light feeding once a month in spring, one fourth or a third what would be fed to most potted plants, usually a slow-relase acid feed (though a few ferns like hartstongues do not want acidic conditions). No one ever agrees what is the ideal balance for the fertilizer but 10-10-10 is a safe bet. The nitrogen count of the fertilizer could be relatively high so long as they never get much at a time. If leaves seem to be yellowing in spring the light feedings can occasionally be twice a month or extended monthly into summer, but don't fertilize late in the year.
The day before fertilizing, flood the pot &amp let water drip through into a bucket or take the pot outside for the drenching, this is to flush out as many salts as possible that otherwise accumulate from periodic fertilizing & make soil less & less healthy for ferns over time if never flushed. The light feeding would be a day or two after the flushing.
Before ferns are potted up, the potting soil should have a bit extra of peat or fine woodchips or sawdust added. A potting medium that is 60% peat is not too much, but this uncomposted organic component can also consist of woodchips or crunched up leaves. This helps keep the beneficial fungus spiked, whereas completely finished compost & regular potting soil lacks sufficient decaying matter, & ferns like a lot of decaying matter (or the resultant heightened fungus count) in their medium. I'm personally against perlite as it does not support microorganisms in the potting medium & the moisture-retentive component should be the same peat or sawdust or humus.
Although just about any sort of pot will do, clay (terra cotta) pots are better than glazed pots or plastic pots because clay pots provide for better breathing of the roots & soil, & plants that want to be all but perpetually moist will be less apt to develop harmful bacteria or mold or sogginess if in clay pots.
Soil should be evenly moist, never soggy & never quite entirely dry. Perfect drainage is necessary because even liking to be moist, sogginess is deadly if it lasts more than mere minutes. A fern only uses the soil in the top few inches of a pot, so a pot deeper than 8 to 10 inches is wasted space for even large ferns & may be too moist too deep in the pot to remain healthy.
Most ferns don't like heat & if the porch area or window gets hot it won't be enough to block the sun. Scruffiness of ferns otherwise well cared for is often because of heat & low humidity. Potted ferns actually need a bit of sunlight (indirect or suffused), & a dimly lit indoor spot will cause a slow decline.
Some ferns are just not suited to indoor & potted conditions. Those which are adaptable to pots are easily damaged by over fertilizing, overwatering, underwatering, & poorly sustained living component of the potting medium which requires a component of the medium that is in the process of slow decay.
These are general guidelines & not all ferns are the same. If a fern is thriving even though you're doing some things wrong, then don't correct your method.
For indoor & potted plants always bare in mind that succulents require less fuss.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Thanks so much - I've repotted the ferns and put them outdoors in a semi shady spot under the trees and put an aloe plant on the porch. I'm in CT in Zone 6. J
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