My kangaroo fern sends up new fronds but the stem turns black and they die before they unfurl. What should I do?

It was in my sunroom where it got lots of light, but I  moved it to a southwest facing window where it is warmer but also next to the radiator. Is it not getting enough light, too dry, or both?


Oh dear. Sounds like the change into such bright light and heat is causing stress on the kangaroo fern. Here are some cultural tips:

Tropical Ferns are splendid garden plants where night time temperatures are above 60°F, and they make excellent houseplants as well. They require only filtered light and moderate humidity to grow well indoors.

Light: Tropical Ferns grow best in filtered or indirect light. An east- or north-facing window is ideal.

Watering:  Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Humidity: Most houseplants are native to tropical or subtropical regions of the world, where relative humidity is typically very high. They suffer in the dry air produced by furnaces. The best way to increase the humidity around your plants is to run a humidifier nearby (maybe a small one is ideal). I always mist my fern. You can also set plants in trays filled with pebbles or gravel. Add water to a level just below the tops of the pebbles (if the potting mix in the pots comes in contact with the water, the mix will draw water into the pot, which will cause the mix to become saturated, eventually leading to rot). Refill trays frequently to replace water lost through evaporation. 

Repotting: Repot only when the roots have filled the container.

Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Mar 23, 2021
  • Views 150
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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