What do we do? How long do Boston ferns survive? Charlotte
Our Boston Fern Is All Brown Roots and Hardly Any Green Fronds (12 Yrs Old)
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It sounds like your fern is too root bound. While this plant does like to be root bound a little, it starts to produce those roots when it is root bound. I suspect that the loss of green leaves is tied to the fact that the plant is so root bound that it can't get enough water.
I would recommend repotting to a larger pot or significantly increasing water.