Fern – Needs Humidity

Q: I have a large fern-type plant in my living room on which the edges of the leaves turn brown. What could cause this problem?

A: My bet is that the plant doesn’t have enough humidity around it. Indoor air in winter is very dry; ferns are very susceptible to drying out and damage usually develops on leaf/frond tips. Buy a plastic plant saucer that is at least as wide as the spread of your plant leaves. Fill the saucer with pea gravel and set the plant in the center. Add water until it just touches the bottom of the pot. This will raise the humidity level around the plant. Scissor off any brown tissue to make your plant look better as it recovers. Make sure the plant is not near a furnace vent that would blow hot air on the leaves.

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