Most fern baskets must be divided each year. Otherwise, the root mass simply holds too much water and root rot begins. It is difficult for homeowners to duplicate greenhouse conditions during cold weather but try these tips:
1. Cut the fern foliage back by half, removing the older, longer fronds and leaving those that are younger and more vigorous.
2. Split the root mass in half and replant into two baskets. Use a light, well-drained potting soil.
3. Do not fertilize but hang the baskets in the brightest window available. Boston ferns will grow best in rooms that are kept cooler than the rest of the house. An unused bedroom is ideal.
4. Water sparingly but mist the fern daily. Low humidity in the house will cause the fronds to dry.
5. When night temperature approach 60 degrees next spring, the ferns can be hung outdoors.