Lemon Button Fern Woes

lagoldberg8397July 6, 2010

I've had a lemon button fern for about a year in a room that gets bright light but is between two windows so it doesn't get direct light. My apartment isn't air conditioned so it's been around 80 degrees indoors and quite humid. There is a ceiling fan in the room but the plant is against the wall and not under the fan. I've been feeding it every 2 weeks since March and saw several new shoots but they died. Additionally, outer leaves on several fronds have turned brown. The plant is looking a bit scraggly but does seem to be alive and I'd like to keep it that way. I've checked several fact sheets and can't figure out where I'm going wrong. I got it through a Boston winter in a dry, heated apartment so I must be doing something right, which is why it's so frustrating that this plant seems to be going downhill in the summer. Any advice from this group would be greatly appreciated.

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

First off I don't know or grow this plant.

Too much fertilizer. MAYBE dilute it once a month, but until it's better stop fertlizing at all (it's not like medicine to fix an ailing plant.

Hoping someone else can come along & help.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 3:09PM
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I'm definately not an expert and have killed every fern I've ever tried to grow inside. The only exception is a Lemon Button Fern my daughter gave me last fall. I keep it in the same type of lighting you do, in between 2 windows bright with nothing direct. Within a month or two it started dying on me. Having killed so many I decided to take a chance. Last February I decided to wick water it in the same way that I do my african violets. I rinsed off as much soil as possible and used a mix of 1 part African Violet potting soil and 2 parts perlite mixed (there are many versions this is what works for me) I used a 4 ply strand of **WET** acrylic yarn which when put in the bottom of the empty pot will hang a few inches below and the top of the yarn will end level with the top of the pot. I then filled the pot with my mix and the plant covering the yarn at the top of the pot with mix. I took a deli container with a lid and cut a hole in the center of it, filled the container 3/4 full of water, put the plant on the top of lid with the wick hanging into water in the container. I hold it together with a macrame hanger since I still hang it. I put Schultz liquid houseplant fertilizer in the container at 1/2 strength about once sometimes twice a month.

I have absolutely no idea if this is the way to usually grow this small fern but it's been very successful for me. It seems to love the even dampness and is putting on lots of growth. Even with the horrible heat we've been having and no ac it's been 90 in the house and it looks good. I've also never misted it since doing this.

The link below will show you a little more about wick watering if you'd like to learn more. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachels Reflections Wicking

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Additional - I used a 4 inch pot, another wick may be needed if using a larger pot. The soil mix was moistened with water before adding the plant.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:57AM
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