Why Is My Tree Fern Dying?

Updated December 12, 2017

Ferns are plants that typically grow in warm, tropical climates. They require care and attention to make sure they stay alive. Many factors can cause your fern to die, including humidity, sun, and the climate; but luckily, there are ways to remedy these problems and help keep your fern healthy and growing.


A climate factor that could cause your fern to die is humidity. They originate in humid areas so having ferns in dry air places can kill them. While they can live in dry places, a humid climate allows them to thrive. Installing misters is one way that you can remedy this problem. It will keep the environment around the plant moist.


Putting ferns in the shade is essential to their growth. If they are in direct sunlight, they begin to die. Some ways to remedy this are to grow your fern under trees that provide shade, like deciduous trees. When ferns are young, shading them is especially important, so plant them under other ferns that are larger and provide ample shade for the young ferns.


If your ferns are dying or not growing as fast as you would like them to, try trimming or pulling the dead fronds off. This allows and encourages the fern to grow because the excess dead material has been taken away. Trimming the fern will also keep it looking healthy because there will not be any dead leaves.


If grown in a cold environment, there is a chance your fern will begin to die. They do not fare well in cold weather and especially not in wind. Keep your plant warm through winter by putting hay and other similar materials around the stalk of the fern and it will hopefully live through the winter.


Ferns need soil that is healthy and has good drainage. If you have poor soil that causes water to pool and create puddles, this could be a reason why your fern is dying. Ferns need to be in moist soil, but not soil that is damp or over watered. One way to remedy this is to mulch the soil until it has good drainage. Blood and bone fertiliser should be used once a year with these plants, which will encourage growth.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Natalie Saar began writing professionally at the age of 19. She majored in journalism and her writing has appeared in the magazine "Generation WHY" as well as "The Clause" newspaper. Saar graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts in media and cultural studies.