I purchased a foxtail fern several months ago. It was a small plant to begin with. I repotted it in a medium sized pot with hopes it would grow large. I keep the plant indoors. It receives about four hours of sunlight daily. I water it once every 1.5 weeks and fertilize it every other watering. It appears very healthy; however, it is sprouting random “shoots” that grow very long quickly. So it looks rather strange. It’s as if the original plant I bought exists with three very long “shoots.” Do you have any suggestions to get this plant to grow more evenly? I was told to cut off the long “shoots” to even them up with the original plant but I feel badly doing so. Thank you Kindly, K
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If the long shoots look the same as the normal shoots (with the same type of leaves on them) but are longer, that means your fern is becoming "leggy" or excessively long because it is not getting enough light. You could try adding a fluorescent light near the plant, or you could move the plant outdoors during the warm months to give them more light (depending on your climate).
If the long shoots look bare, with no leaves or just small leaf buds, those are natural climbing tendrils that the plant produces. Foxtail fern is actually a climbing plant, and it uses those long tendrils to find places to climb. So, you can cut them down or leave them, depending on whether you want yours to grow as a climbing plant.
The shoots are likely do to the light conditions.
Increase the light your plant is receiving. You are heavy on the fertilizer and you should review the link below to make corrections.
Foxtail Fern is a fast growing plant.