Water Requierments Of House Ferns

The amount of moisture lost through the fronds of a fern is amazing, even when the loss is reduced by the humidity of the surrounding atmosphere. Because of this, ferns generally need to be watered plentifully so that their roots are kept thoroughly moist (but not soggy) as long as temperatures remain at 60 gegrees or above. The best way to water a fern is to stand the pot in a bowl of water and pour tepid water onto the potting mixture surface, stopping as soon as the water begins to run out of the drainage holes into the bowl. During the next few minutes the water in the bowl will be drawn back into the pottin mixture, and watering from above should again take place. Keep addind water in this manner for about half an hour. Then remove the pot from the bowl, and allow the mixture to drain for another half an hour before replacing the fern.

Alternatively, ferns can be watered frombelow. This is simply a metter of pouring water into the bowl instead of onto the potting mixture, and continuing until water remain in the bowl for a half an hour. This particuliar method is not rcomended as a regular routine as salts (fertilizers) will rize up into the root system and burn them, altenate the watering methods to rince salts out. Whichever method or combination used, some ferns do best if the potting mixture is left to dry out somewhat between watering (see individual ferns for specific recommendations... if they're not up yet, please be pateint).

If your fern has went into a rest period because of low temperatures reduce water. Until the temperature rises to 60 degrees or above. All the plant will need is enough water to prevent wilting of the fronds. Too much water during a full rest period will most likely rot the root of your fern.

If possible, use rain water for both the roots and for mist-spraying the fronds. If there is no feasable alternative (such as distilled bottled water, or a water filter on your tap) to the use of hard water from the faucet, make sure at least that the water is tepid or lukewarm. Some of the hardness can be boiled out of the water also, as some of the lime is deposited in the pot, but it is not neccessary to do this. Ferns are generally as tolerant in this respect as most other plants.
It is not recommended to collect rain water in the city, or in industrial areas because of the pollution it will contain, and it is best not to use clorinated water as clorine will damage most plants including ferns!

A fern growing in a basket can be a little more difficult to water than a potted plant. If the basket is small enough to be set in a bowl, it can be emmersed for just long enough to moisten the potting mixture thoroughly. A larger basket may need to be watered in a sink or bathtub. However, the safest way to water ferns in baskets is to pour water gradually onto the surface until it appears to be sufficiently moist. Though a tedious method, this is a way to ensure that the mixture does not become too wet.