How Often Should You Water Ferns? [COMPLETE CARE GUIDE]

You will find ferns in every gardener’s place, whether it is indoors or outdoors. These plants do not make much of a mess and love humid conditions. Their bright green vibrancy adds the perfect touch to your kitchen or bathrooms.

Overall, experts suggest that you should water ferns at least two or three times a week. However, there are a few exceptions. For instance, brake and holly ferns do not require continuous moist air.

So, how do you care for ferns? How often should you water them? Can they be overwatered? Well, if all of these questions are revolving around your head, then keep on reading below. You will find an answer to all your queries.

water ferns

How To Water Ferns?

Ferns thrive when they have access to a steady and adequate water supply. After all, many of these plants are native to the tropics, and frequent rainfall increases humidity, making the air moist. When they relocate, their source of moisture must come from the gardener.

You can keep your ferns healthy by moistening the soil where they are planted, outside or in a pot. Furthermore, it would be best if you kept spraying them with water after every few hours. Even though you should aim for uniformly wet soil, you don’t want it to be oversaturated or waterlogged.

Just keep an eye out; do not let the soil become completely dry. Instead, water it as soon as you feel the surface become dry.

However, there are a few exceptions of ferns that do not thrive in moist soil. Examples include ferns (Pteris), rabbit’s foot fern (Phlebodium aureum), and holly ferns (Cyrtomium falcatum). So, if you have any of these, you must wait for the soil to dry before you water it again.

How Often Should You Water Ferns?

Watering ferns can be confusing, as discussed in the above session; while some love moist soil, others like it a bit dry. So, how often should you water the ferns at your place? Well, let’s discuss what to do in different situations.

The Basics

Generally, ferns love water. So, it would help if you made sure the soil remains moist most of the time. But, when it comes to the number of times you should water a fern, the experts have contradicting statements.

While some suggest you should water once a week, others argue that two to three times is necessary. After researching, we found out that both types of statements are true. Some might require regular watering while others do not. It depends on the environment they are growing in and, most importantly, the type of fern you are growing. Another factor that decides how many times to water it is its location; are you planting it outside in your garden or indoors in the living room or the kitchen?

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Indoor Ferns

Factors like the size of the plant, its growth rate, type of pot, temperature, and humidity determine how often you should water the greens.

Suppose you have a small fern potted and placed on the window sill in your bathroom. It might require less water than a larger one in a dry environment such as the living room. Furthermore, with most ferns, as mentioned above, you need to water as soon as the surface becomes dry.

Also, the humidity level holds paramount importance. If the air is dry, you would have to water frequently. On the other hand, if the air is moist and humid, you do not have to water every other day. You can water it every five to ten days.

Outdoor Ferns

While outdoor ferns require much less maintenance than indoor ones, you must pay attention to them equally. Typically, they should get a gallon or two per week. In addition, you should plant ferns in a shaded area with moist soil for ideal growth. So that even when the monsoon arrives, the ground does not become oversaturated with water.

Although, you need to remember that other factors also come into play. For example, the soil type majorly determines how often you should water. If the greens are planted in clay soil, you can skip a few days of watering. Also, you must create tiny draining holes underneath the plant, so the soil doesn’t flood.

Contrarily, if the soil drains too quickly in your garden, you must water it repeatedly. Besides, fast-draining soils or sand are not ideal for growing fern.

Types Of Ferns And When To Water Them

There are many types of ferns that you would find in a nursery, each with its own water needs. So, in this section, we will go over the most common types of ferns and when or how often to water them.

Boston Fern

Boston fern is highly resilient and can handle moderate lighting. However, you will need to water it more regularly in such conditions. If you are planning to place it indoors, put it in indirect sunlight so it will evaporate less moisture. In such a condition, you must water the plant every seven to ten days.

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Kimberly Queen Fern

Like many other ferns, you need to water it once a week. Also, you should check the pot to see if the soil is dry. If it is the former, water it.

Birds Nest Fern

It thrives the best in high humidity, so if you are planning to get these as your houseplant, you should also invest in a humidifier. The plant can survive a week without water when the environment is humid. However, in case of dry weather, you need to water as soon as the soil dries an inch.

Staghorn Fern

It is one of the unique ferns that you would come across. It has broad leaves and compact roots. Most people tend to grow it on a hanging board or a wall. However, moss is also used as a substrate.

If the moss dries quickly, you need to water it frequently because it needs to be wet at all times. On the contrary, the substrate will remain moist if the humidity is high. So, you just have to water it once a week.

water ferns square

Asparagus/Foxtail Fern

As the name suggests, it has thin leaves which evaporate less water than other types. So, you do not need to water it too frequently. Nevertheless, it depends upon the temperature and humidity. If the air is too dry, then you should probably water it.

Maidenhair Fern

It has small leaves spread all across the stems. So, you need to water it every seven to ten days. However, if growing the plant in a small pot and the weather is dry, you must water it regularly (at least every three to five days).

Lemon Button Fern

You should not allow a lemon button fern to dry out completely. So, you need to generously water it for at least a week or even more often, depending on the pot size. First, though, make sure you do not waterlog the soil.

Final Words

If you oversaturate the soil, ferns can get yellowed foliage, root rots, fungal diseases, and ultimately wilt. On the flip side, underwater can cause problems, too; the plant will wilt.

So, make sure you know the type of fern you have at your place before you start to water it. Each type needs to be different depending on the humidity level, temperature, pot size, and growth rate. So, you need to keep a check on all of these factors.