How to feed Japanese Ferns?

I planted some Japanese painted ferns a week or 2 ago; 5" pots. They are starting to grow, and I wonder how to feed them. 1/2 -strength Miracle Gro, or full-strength fish emulsions, or what? How often do I feed them?
Thanks, regards, Bob
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In soil that started out good & rich & which gets an annual topcoating of composted manure or leafmold, there should be no reason ever to fertilize most ferns at all. Evergreen ferns like deerferns or Japanese tassel ferns can be severely damaged by fertilizers; the deciduous ferns like your painted ferns MIGHT benefit from a once-yearly (spring) half-strength slow-release low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Fertilizers high in nitrogen cause them to look & do poorly. An autumn topcoating of manure compost, or of leaves on moist soil which permits the leaves to break down into leafmold by spring, is frequently all a fern requires.
In containers fertilizing needs will be higher (& trickier so as not to overdo it) but in the outdoor garden, always think "less is best."
-paghat the ratgirl
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paghat wrote:

Thanks. This was very poor soil until I mixed in a bunch of compost. I don't know if it is decent soil now or not. It's next to a concrete slab that's less than a year old, so I wonder if they'd like an occasional tonic of quarter-strength acid-loving plant food until I can get them mulched good with spruce needles.
Maybe the peat moss they came potted in will give them enough acid buffer for a while.
Best regards, Bob
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you might also consider top dressing them with coffee grounds every few weeks. they add a little bit of nitrogen and a little bit of acidity, but are not too strong. I use them on a tropical fern I have indoors, and that seems to be just fine.
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gregpresley wrote:

THat's a great idea. Thanks.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Bobdammit -
Since they are japanese you need to feed them sushi, that would make them grow.
xoxoxo --MommyBartlo--
This is my loser son --> http://www.joseph-bartlo.net/joseph.htm
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