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Fern Care

Why does my Fern have brown leaves and how to solve it? 

by Plants for all Seasons 15 Mar 2023 0 Comments

Brown leaves on your fern could be due to several reasons. Identifying the cause is essential to solve the issue and prevent it from recurring. Here are some common reasons for brown leaves on ferns and how to address them:

  1. Underwatering or inconsistent watering: Ferns require consistent moisture in the soil. If the soil dries out, the leaves may turn brown and crispy. Make sure you keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Check the soil frequently, and water when the top 1-2 inches feel dry to the touch.

  2. Overwatering: Overwatering can cause root rot, which may lead to brown leaves. If the soil is soggy and the roots are mushy, you may be overwatering your fern. Reduce your watering frequency and ensure the soil drains well. If root rot is advanced, you may need to trim away the affected roots and repot the fern in fresh soil.

  3. Low humidity: Ferns thrive in humid environments. If the air is too dry, the leaves may turn brown, especially at the tips. Increase humidity around your fern by placing a tray of water near the plant, misting the leaves regularly, or using a humidifier.

  4. Nutrient deficiency: Lack of essential nutrients can cause browning leaves. Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to provide the necessary nutrients.

  5. Sunburn: Ferns prefer indirect or filtered light. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy. Move your fern to a location with bright, indirect light to avoid sunburn.

  6. Pest infestation: Pests like spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs can cause browning leaves. Inspect your fern regularly for signs of pests and treat any infestations promptly using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

  7. Disease: Fungal diseases can cause browning leaves. Ensure good air circulation around your fern, avoid overhead watering, and remove any affected leaves. If a fungal infection is severe, apply a fungicide according to the label instructions.

To solve the issue of brown leaves on your fern, identify the underlying cause and address it accordingly. Maintain proper care, including appropriate watering, humidity, lighting, and pest control, to keep your fern healthy and prevent future browning.

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