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Article: Boston Ferns and Kidneys: Can a Boston Fern survive winter?

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Forum: Article: Boston Ferns and KidneysReplies: 3, Views: 37
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Rocky Mount, NC

August 12, 2008
12:28 AM

Post #5401557

I live in the Eastern flatlands of North Carolina, in Zone 7. If I mulch my outdoor Boston fern in fall, might it come back in Spring?

South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 14, 2008
1:40 AM

Post #5411133

Hi Roy--Boston ferns generally are hardy only in zones 9 to 11. I find that it's fun to practice a little zone denial every now and then, so if you're game, a protected spot with southern exposure would be best. Do mulch heavily once frost threatens and remove the mulch once the weather warms up again and frost is no longer a threat. You may find that the leaves have turned brown, but don't give up. New fronds may push out through the soil as the soil begins to warm.

If you decide to do this, please let me know whether or not you were successful. Thanks--Larry☼
Nixa, MO

October 26, 2009
1:53 PM

Post #7209598

How do I go about wintering my Boston ferns indoors? I live in Southwest Missouri and know they cannot survive this zone in the winter. They are in hanging baskets. Should I cut them back? They are huge and could easily be divided. Should I do this now? Do I water them through the winter? Do I need to have a humidifer in the room? How much light?

Ellen Crawley
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2009
6:35 AM

Post #7236369

Hi Ellen--My apologies for the late reply. Now would be a good time to divide and repot the ferns. If you don't have enough room to accommodate the additional plants indoors, you can wait until spring to do it. During the winter, the ferns should be exposed to bright light, but don't require direct sun. Water them when the soil in the container starts to dry out. They do suffer some from low humidity in the winter, and will let you know by dropping lots of leaflets. Low humidity won't kill them, but by spring, they'll be looking somewhat straggly. (They'll perk up again once they get outside in the spring. You can either resort to a humidifier or mist them, if you like. In the past, I've grouped them with other plants, which raises the humidity in the immediate vicinity somewhat. That way I didn't have to bother with a humidifier or a mister. Hope this helps! Best--Larry☼

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