Fern in a pot

Zone Wellington, New Zealand | Robert Schubach added on March 29, 2017 | Answered

I was given a silver fern in a 300mm pot. It seemed to do well in the beginning (new, healthy shoots etc.) but after a year it now seems to be dormant. Leaves are going brown on the edges, and there are no new shoots. Will it survive in the pot, or must it be planted in the ground? Does it need special fern food, or is plant food and fertiliser sufficient? I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Robert.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 30, 2017

Increasing the humidity often helps ferns. If it's indoors, it may also need more light (although not direct, bright light). Adding some compost to the pot should help too.

This article explains what soil a fern needs and how to determine whether it needs repotting:


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