How to Re-Pot a Boston Fern

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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.


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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


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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, ensuring that the soil mix remains soil lightly moist. 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


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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. When planting your water Boston fern, avoid placing it in a pot with a larger diameter to ensure that 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


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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.


Repotting a Mature Boston Fern: Key Steps and Considerations


When repotting a mature Boston fern, note the small growth nodules resembling grape-sized balls found where the dead fronds meet the underground rhizomes. To repot a Boston fern effectively, consider the following steps:


  1. ) Choose an appropriate pot size for the plant, allowing room for the root ball.
  2. Carefully extract the fern from its current pot, preserving the root ball.
  3. Use moist soil to create an optimal growing environment.
  4. Position the fern in the new pot, ensuring the root ball is at the right depth.
  5. Fill the remaining space with moist soil, supporting the fern and covering the roots.



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.


Wrapping Up


That is all about when and how 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.

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how to re-pot boston fern
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What is the relationship between the lemon button fern and the Boston fern?


The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), a close relative of the lemon button fern, shares many similarities in terms of care and growth requirements. Both ferns belong to the Nephrolepis genus and exhibit comparable characteristics. Although they have different foliage appearances, they can thrive under similar conditions and care guidelines.


Like the lemon button fern, the Boston fern prefers indirect light and thrives in bright, filtered light environments. Direct sunlight should be avoided to prevent leaf burn. Both ferns also appreciate a consistently moist environment and high humidity levels. Regular misting, placing the pot on a tray of water and pebbles, or utilizing a humidifier can help maintain the desired humidity for Boston ferns, just as with lemon button ferns.


How does caring for a lemon button fern relate to caring for a Boston fern?


The care for lemon button fern plants share several similarities with caring for a Boston fern, another popular fern variety. Here’s how the care for these ferns connect:


  1. Lighting: Both lemon button ferns and Boston ferns prefer bright, indirect light. They thrive when placed near a window with filtered sunlight or provided with artificial fluorescent lighting.
  2. Temperature and Humidity: Lemon button ferns and Boston ferns have similar temperature preferences, thriving in moderate temperatures ranging between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). They both appreciate high humidity levels as well. Consider using a humidifier or placing trays of water and pebbles near these ferns to increase humidity.
  3. Watering: Lemon button ferns and Boston ferns both require consistent moisture. Water them when the top inch of soil feels slightly dry, ensuring proper drainage to avoid overwatering and root rot.
  4. Soil: Lemon button ferns and Boston ferns benefit from well-draining potting soil. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and organic matter provides an ideal growing medium for both fern varieties.
  5. Fertilization: Both ferns can be fertilized with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength every two to four weeks during the growing season. However, avoid fertilizing them during winter months.
  6. Pruning: Regular pruning is beneficial for both lemon button ferns and Boston ferns. Trim any yellowing or brown fronds to maintain their appearance and remove any dead or diseased leaves to promote healthy growth.
  7. Repotting: Lemon button ferns and Boston ferns may require repotting every one to two years. Choose slightly larger pots with fresh potting mix when repotting, giving the ferns room to grow and thrive.


By recognizing these similarities in lemon Boston and lemon button fern care, you can apply the knowledge gained from caring for a lemon button fern to care for a Boston fern, and vice versa.


How to repot a boston fern: what pot size should I choose and what’s the right method?


When you repot boston fern plants, understanding the appropriate pot size and following the right method is crucial. Begin by assessing the boston fern pot size, ensuring it allows enough space for the plant’s root system to grow. Next, carefully remove the fern from its current pot, gently loosening the roots. Place the fern in a slightly larger pot, adding fresh, well-draining soil around the roots. Finally, water the newly repotted Boston fern thoroughly, providing it with the ideal conditions to flourish. By following these steps, you can successfully repot your Boston fern and promote its healthy growth.


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