House Plants/Boston fern


I have a Boston fern that was purchased in May of 2012.  It hung outside during the summer months, and I have brought it inside the house during the winter.  It continues to produce new fronds, but they are not very sturdy and have very small leaves?  The same thing happened to a fern I had last year.  What is causing this, and how can it be fixed?


Boston ferns are very picky creatures. They do not like being indoors and only getting light on one side in a house that to them is hot and dry. They like higher humidity in a location with light but not sun coming from all 4 sides. They also like a 10 degree temperature drop at night and they like gentle breezes. The gentle breezes and high humidity keep the insects away and keep it from dropping leaves. Increased light on all 4 sides and a monthly dose of water soluble fertilizer would increase that leaf size. Be careful not to overwater or underwater.If you have a skylight it might help to hang it under a skylight. If you have a clear plastic bag large enough to fit over it you might loosely twist tie it over the fern and that would keep the plant more humid. No guarantees but that is what I would try. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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