What’s wrong with my fern? She doesn’t seem very happy (she’s inside a terrarium).

Comments for Fern

Aug 20, 2020
Maidenhair Fern
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

These ferns often show dieback, as part of their natural growth pattern. The older leaves or fronds die off and shrivel, then new ones emerge from the center or crown. The older ones make a bed around the plant, in time, which helps preserve moisture at the soil level.

Some things to check: the amount of moisture in the terrarium can escape if it’s an open type of terrarium. Close it, if you can, or spray a light mist into the air of the terrarium, every day. Do not use tap water or well water here. Buy distilled water or use filtered drinking water or rainwater. Minerals and chemicals in water can clog up the pores on these ultra sensitive plants.

Soil; these are jungle / woodland type plants – hence, they prefer leaf mold or high levels of organic matter – not manure or strong fertilizer.

You haven’t told me anything about how long the plant has been in this situation, or where you have it. Bright sunlight will kill ferns. They really prefer quite low light levels.

Hope this helps.