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How to Re-Pot a Boston Fern
The Boston fern is one of the most versatile plants. With their beautiful long, lacy fronds, you can quickly grow them inside the living room, wrap-around porch, or in the hanging baskets. But, do you know how to re-pot a Boston Fern? Additionally, you should also learn when to re-pot a Boston Fern.
Boston Ferns in General
Boston fern is one of the most popular and versatile houseplants that doesn’t demand a specific environment and require minimal care. You can plant them indoors all year round and outside your home during the warm seasons. In short, they are hardy and low maintenance houseplants.
They look beautiful in the hanging baskets, sitting on a table, or planted in a garden to create a border. Besides that, you can also plant them in the ground directly. Because of their versatility, you can pair them with flowering annuals regardless of the color to make a charming focal point in combination planting.
However, since the houseplant is a vigorous grower, you need to re-pot Boston ferns every two or three years. This sturdy, independent houseplant can easily tolerate re-potting when it begins to outgrow. Below, I will explain how and when to re-pot Boston ferns, as well as valuable tips to keep your houseplant thriving.
Benefits of Repotting Boston Fern
Repotting Boston fern is easy and helps you to keep your houseplant thriving. Like any other fern, Boston ferns tend to get dry during winters, and you want to avoid having them sitting in the water. Repotting Boston fern is the best way to keep your houseplant away from other invasive plants that could damage it. Moreover, it will also keep your houseplant from becoming stressed because of the poor conditions.
Another benefit of Boston ferns is their adaptability. They are among the most adaptable houseplants in terms of where they need to be placed. For example, if you have planted a Boston fern in a small pot, it will perform well even if you re-pot Boston fern into another enclosed space. It means re-potting Boston fern also helps you to keep your houseplant away from harsh weather elements.
When to Re-pot a Boston Fern
Some vigorous growing ferns require re-potting more often when they begin outgrowing. Similarly, Boston ferns require re-potting at least two to three years. However, they show plenty of signs to indicate that your houseplant requires a broader and more prominent space to grow.
For instance, if your fern is too big and the container is small, you will spot that Boston fern’s roots are growing through the container’s drainage holes. Another sign that indicates to re-pot Boston fern is the soil drying quickly than it should be. Moreover, regardless of fertilizing the fern, the decreased growth rate is another sign that indicates that it’s time to re-pot Boston fern.
In other cases, when the container is so packed with the plant roots, water runs straight through the drainage holes that cause the plant to wilt quickly. Furthermore, if your Boston fern is root-bound, it can crack through the container. So, it is good to re-pot Boston fern before this happen.
What Should You Consider Before Repotting Boston Fern?
Though you can re-pot Boston fern into a more extensive and spacious container when it begins to outgrow, you should know that it can damage your houseplant. It is because a larger container with a more extensive potting mixture takes more water than your houseplant needs. It results in developing root rot, which can kill your plant.
So, it is best to re-pot Boston fern into a container that is only a few inches larger than the current container. In this regard, you can use any container but make sure that it has drainage holes in the bottom. It is recommended to use plastic containers, as they keep the soil moist for longer than terracotta.
How to Re-pot Boston Fern
Finally, before you re-pot Boston fern, make sure to water it more frequently and wait for a couple of days. It will keep the soil moist and makes e Boston fern re-potting process easy. As I mentioned above, make sure you have a new container that is only a few inches larger (at least two or three inches) than the current container. Avoid planting your Boston fern in a pot with a larger diameter so the soil doesn’t store more water than your plant needs.
Now, take the fresh potting soil and fill your new container about two to three inches with it. Carefully remove the houseplant from its container and place it in the center of the new pot. Now, add the potting soil around the plant. Adjust the potting soil in the bottom of the pot. Ensure you planted your Boston fern at the same depth it was planted before in the previous pot. Avoid planting your houseplant too deeply as it can cause root rot and kill your plant.
Once you have re-potted the Boston fern, water it thoroughly and place it in a place where it doesn’t get direct light for a couple of days. Then, once it starts thriving in the new container, you can move it to its original location and resume regular maintenance.
How to Care Boston Fern About Repotting
Now, since you have re-potted Boston fern to its new pot, you have to keep the soil moist to keep it thriving. In this regard, water it with lukewarm water until the water starts dripping through the drainage holes. After that, let your houseplant drain thoroughly. Also, make sure to not fertilize your newly re-potted Boston fern for at least six months.
Moreover, after re-potting Boston fern, keep in mind that it does well in deep or partial shade. So, make sure to keep it from direct sunlight. To avoid root rot, make sure the soil is properly draining. Once your houseplant is established in its new pot, fertilize no more than once a month.
What to Do If Boston Fern Freezes After Repotting?
If your Boston fern is exposed to freeze for longer, it can damage the plant roots. In contrast, a brief cold can harm the fronds. You cannot save every frozen fern, but if your houseplant roots are safe, your plant can survive. With proper care and maintenance, you can speed up the recovery. Here is what you should do if your Boston fern freezes after re-potting.
· Move the Plant
Right after your Boston fern freezes, make sure to move it to a frost-free location to minimize the damage. However, it is recommended to keep the damaged ferns in the cold rather than a hot place. Watering can also help to reduce the damage by hydrating the roots. If you notice that the soil is frozen, pour the water until it starts dripping. Once the water drains completely, pour water again until the soil thaws. Moreover, make sure to keep the damaged ferns out of direct light to avoid further damage.
· Evaluate the Damage
If, after re-potting Boston fern, only the fronds are freeze, your plant can recover quickly. However, if the freeze damaged your plant’s roots, it has very few chances to recover. Therefore, you have to evaluate the frost damage after your plant is exposed to prolong freeze. If you notice mushy black roots around the edges, it means they are damaged by frost. Therefore, you can cut them to stop further damage. Moreover, if you notice black roots all the way, your plant won’t survive.
· Restore Your Plant
After cold damage to the fronds of your Boston fern, do not prune until the frost season pass. In mild coastal areas, you can still prune your plant in late winter. Make sure to cut the damaged fronds carefully, so you don’t damage new shoots.
· Protection against frost
Boston fern planted in containers is less likely to survive in cold temperatures than those growing in the soil. Container plants exposed to temperature fluctuations freeze more rapidly. You can avoid the damage by re-potting Boston fern planted in a container to a greenhouse before the frost hits. However, if your fern is too big and the container is too heavy to move, you can cover it with blankets or bubble wrap to prevent frost damage.
That is all about how and when to re-pot Boston fern. It is a popular houseplant that doesn’t care much about the environment. However, when you re-pot Boston fern, make sure to use a more extensive but no more than a few inches container and good commercial potting soil. Moreover, if your plant is too big and you do not want it to get any more significant, you can divide it into sections and then re-pot Boston fern.
Keep Pets Away from Houseplants
Boston Fern (Missouri Botanical Garden)