How to Prune a Boston Fern – Top Tips

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Do you have a Boston Fern that is starting to look a little overgrown and shabby? Boston ferns are a beautiful addition to any home, but they need to be pruned regularly in order to stay healthy. Just how does one prune a Boston Fern plant you ask? This guide will show you how to properly prune Boston ferns so that it stays lush and green. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a beautiful plant that’s easy to care for!


How to Prune a Boston Fern – Keep It Healthy!


 Use our tips of how to prune a Boston Fern plant to keep your houseplant in top health. These beautiful plants need basic pruning and upkeep to ensure they stay growing healthy and beautiful. However, even beginners find this an easy task.


Ferns are comparatively simple to prune. You can prune them in the new spring before the new growth begins or when the new development comes in. If you desire to create a shape, you can trim around the edges of the plant. When growing ferns indoors, we make sure to cut off dead or dried fronds when they appear.


Method of Pruning Boston Ferns


Let’s Look at the Basic Method of How to Prune a Boston Fern


First, gather your plant and the necessary equipment.


Whenever you are pruning Boston fern, you always use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors. Since pruning can be messy, you probably want to transport the plants outside or place an old sheet in the territory to get the cuttings. You don’t need to crop the top of the plant when pruning a Boston fern. Instead, trim off the side fronds at the base.


Examine the Pruning Information for Your Specific Plant:


Some of the ferns, such as the Giant Chain Fern, do not do well with spring pruning. It is best to let the old greenery die out by itself in mid of summer. If you do not and, you can cause damage to the plant.


  • Once the fronds die, just remove them. Leaving dead fronds offers a place for fungus and pests to grow.


Cut Back the Old Foliage First in The Spring to Make Pruning Easier:


It is the easiest way to cut back the fern in the spring before the new leaves appear. You should be capable of seeing the tightly rolled fiddleheads, also called crosiers, in a crown on the plant.


Cut the foliage more than the crown with a pair of gardening shears.


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Trim off the Dead Branches after the New One Comes in:


On the other hand, you can wait until the new growth comes in to cut off the old fronds.


It is the best way to do this early in the season—shear off the dead branches near the head to make your plant improved and prettier.


  • You can more cut out any older fronds that aren’t dead still but look a little unkempt. As mentioned before, dead or less healthy fronds provide a breeding ground for pests and disease. Keep your plant clean for best health.


Cut off the outer Edges of the Fronds to Develop the Desired shape:


If you do not like the method your fern is shaped, then directly trim off the outer edges up to your liking. You can use sharp scissors or kitchen shears to do the trimming.


  • It is the best way to trim the outer edges after removing yellowing or dead fronds from the leaves.
  • You should keep in mind that the tips turn brown if you cut off the edges.


Trim a Transplanted Fern by Moiety to help it Thrive:


Whenever you move a fern, it needs help getting settled in its new location. Some growers prefer to prune off as many as half of the fronds. this reduces the water your fern needs to support itself.


  • It is the technique that lets the plant focus more attention on getting its roots settled.
  • Don’t worry. One time the plant is settled, it grows back, usually very strong.


Avoid Pruning Right Before Winter:


It can be fascinating to cut off dead or dying fronds at the beginning of winter. However, those fronds help to protect the root crown throughout the winter.


  • In essential words, leaving the old fronds set up can help your plant endure the icy winter and return in the spring. This method is especially useful for winterizing Boston ferns and keeping Boston ferns over winter, ensuring they survive the colder months and flourish again when the weather warms up.


Video Credit: @epicgardening

Method of Trimming Ferns Indoors


 Cut off The Dead Leaflet as They Seem:


How to trim a Boston fern indoors? Start with a cutting tool. Use a fine set of scissors to cut off the leaflet. The dead booklet will be brown or black. Cut them near the base of the brochure, just before the joint. You can use a sharpened pair of scissors or a small team of garden shears.


Remove any Leaflet Infected with Scales:


Scales are small insects that badly attack your plants. They are tiny, reddish-brown, and flat.


  • Whenever scales attack the plant, the leaves will probably turn yellow and may weaken—looking for rankings on the underneath of leaves along the vein or on the stems.
  • Scales can be spread, so remove any leaflet you see with shears or scissors. If you have a bad infestation, you probably desire to throw out the houseplant, so the scales do not expand to other houseplants.
  • Outside ferns also get scales, but you should try controlling them with oil-based spray pesticides instead of pruning.


Chop the Root Runners that will Hangover the Side of the Pot:


Some of the ferns will get runners, slightly like a strawberry plant, except a portion of the plant’s root way.


These will be brown and woody. Cut ferns near the soil in the pot with shears or scissors to raise the health of your plant.


  • These runners are challenging energy from your plant. By cutting them, you allow your plant focus on other vital areas.
  • Note: you might try planting these root runners to grow new plants.


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Cut Back to the Base if Desired:


If you are not like your plant’s look at all, you can cut it down to just above the crown, much as you do with an outdoor fern. It would help if you used clear and clean scissors to cut off the leaflet.


When & How to Prune a Boston Fern


While routine trimming off discolored and unattractive foliage can be performed at any time, you will severe pruning is best skilled in spring or summer. The best time for pruning is during repotting when plants can be drastically cut back. Boston fern plants responds well to critical pruning, supporting more prolific, bushy growth and correcting dull, leggy growth.


Whenever you prune your Boston fern, you always use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors. While pruning can be messy, you probably want to move the plants outdoors or place an old sheet in the area to grab the cuttings.


You don’t need to crop the top of the plant when pruning Boston fern. You also have to remove old, discolored brochures near the soil to permits new growth to come through. Remove the unattractive stems to the ground as well. Cut the remaining part of the plant along the outer edges to the desired shape.


Also, you also should cut the entire plant back to the base if it is necessary.


To Summarize, How to Prune a Boston Fern


This method of Boston fern pruning and trimming the Boston Fern plant should help you maintain a full and healthy plant. Keep your plant clean, pruned, and well-cared for. This proper care ensures your plant continues as a beautiful and robust feature in your home or on your patio for years to come.


Does this include how to trim indoor ferns of all types?

Most boston fern trimming use these methods.

What is causing my brown fronds on my Boston Fern?

Brown fronds indicate that that area is dead. This can happen from soggy roots, sunburn, or other conditions. Clip off the brown frond area. Your Boston Fern will recover and grown new green ferns.

My friend suggested I lightly prune deciduous ferns in the fall. Is she correct?

We suggest that you lightly prune deciduous ferns whenever needed. In fact, ours get a tiny trim about 4 times a year, although occasionally they need it more frequently. Use your judgement and remember that no matter how often you trim indoor ferns, they typically continue producing new fronds.

Are indoor ferns and outdoor ferns the same in terms of growth and care?

Yes, if everything else is equal, but that rarely occurs. Both Indoor and outdoor ferns love indirect lighting, a good spritz, and fresh, but humid air. If the indoor ferns or outdoor ferns are not getting the basics, they won’t thrive as well.

What are the evergreen ferns?

We like to think that our Boston ferns are evergreen and indeed, they do provide that as indoor ferns. However, the true Evergreen fern is called the Autumn Fern. You might find wild ones in a woodland setting and they are indeed beautiful.

My indoor fern's fronds never seem to stop growing. Is there something I can do to slow the growth?

It is possible to slow their growth by delaying your repotting time. Another alternative is more frequent pruning. You might trim indoor ferns as often as you like. I know some people lightly prune deciduous ferns when kept as indoor ferns on a monthly basis.


Another help is to reduce your fertilizing slightly. Fertilizer helps them grow. You don’t want to stop that growth, but slowing it might be advantageous.

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