If you are wondering how to undertake the care of Boston fern outdoors, this article will help you with clear guidelines that you can follow.
Ferns always soften up the look of a room. Their lacy appearance works well for any home bringing a formal natural theme. Boston fern is an old fashioned lush plant that is loved for its lacy, bright green foliage. It is possible to grow this plant both indoors and outdoors. This fern produces attractive fronds that arch gracefully for an outstanding view. Compared to other types of ferns, this type offers gardeners good growth. It requires easy maintenance during the summer and spring seasons.
Can You Grow Boston Fern Outside?
Boston fern is known to grow indoors as a houseplant. It thrives outdoors as well in warm humid climates of USDA zones 9-11. This type of fern when grown outdoors requires adequate moisture
Frost kills Boston fern completely leaving it looking dead but in spring it grows back again. Boston fern thrives in partial to full shade or filtered light. This makes the plant a good choice for damp or shady areas and provides a spark of bright color when it grows.
Boston fern prefers rich organic soils. Use compost, mulch, or finely chopped bark to enrich your soil for better fern growth.
These ferns are perfect for the front porch. They thrive in areas that have indirect sunlight. The morning sun is ideal but full afternoon sun can burn off the fronds.
Boston ferns thrive in the subtropical areas of Florida. They make an attractive mid-height ground cover with dapples shade.
A Guideline To Care Boston Fern Outdoors
With ultimate care, Boston fern will thrive outdoors. Here is the Boston fern care that you can use to grow them outdoors.
Soil: Boston ferns prefer light, loamy and airy soils. You can add compost to your potting mix for best results. Add perlite and peat moss to the soil to improve airflow to the roots. These also ensure proper drainage after watering. Your soil should have a proper balance of the soil amendments without using too much of anything.
Watering: Boston fern is drought tolerant thus it requires plenty of water. Always provide adequate water to keep your soil moist not too much or too little. Do not allow the soil to become too soggy by overwatering because this will kill the fern. If you live in a dry climate, make it a habit to mist the plant lightly on hot days. If you are growing your fern in a container, it will need watering daily in the summer season.
Fertilizing: Use small amounts of fertilizer because the Boston fern is a light feeder. If the leaves turn pale or yellowish, it is an indication that the plant is lacking enough nutrients. Feed the fern frequently throughout its growing season. Use a dilute mixture of water-soluble fertilizer or provide a slow-release fertilizer in spring.
Pest control: Boston ferns are pest-resistant but are susceptible to damage by slugs. If you notice a light slug infestation, pick the pests off the plant early in the moving or late evening. Drop them in a bucket of soapy water to eliminate them. You can also use other non-toxic methods to discourage pests. For example, sprinkle dry eggshells or dry coffee grounds, or non-toxic slug pellets around the slug.
Temperature: Boston ferns prefer temperatures between 60-75 degrees. If you live in a region that the temperature falls under 55 degrees in the Winter, you will need to grow your ferns in pots. This is to help you move them inside to save them from frost when it starts to get cold outside. Once inside, do not place your pots near open places or vents. The cold wind blowing on them through these spaces will affect the health of your ferns.
Re-potting: The size of the pot you choose is what determines the space that the roots will have to grow. This also determines the size of your fern. If your fern is in a small pot, re-pot it when it begins to look like it will split the sides of the container. Always re-pot into a bigger pot each time to allow more growth than the previous one. If you don’t want your plant to grow larger, remove it from the pot, shake off the soil, and trim back the roots. With the right care, the fern will recover from the root pruning stress and bloom. Choose a container that has lots of drainage holes.
Boston Fern Outside- Conclusion
Boston ferns are a delight to grow both in and outdoors. Have you grown them? What type are you growing – the upright fronds or the arching ones? Tell us in the comments below.