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How to Tell if Fern Plant Needs Watering?

Updated: December 22, 2022

Ferns are a beautiful addition to any indoor or outdoor space. They come in many different varieties, each with its unique needs and care requirements. One of the essential tasks for maintaining healthy fern plants is providing them with enough water. However, it’s not always easy to tell when your fern plant needs watering. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for determining when it’s time to give your fern plant a drink.

Signs Your Fern Plant Needs Watering

  1. The Soil is Dry:

The most obvious sign that your fern plant needs watering is when the soil feels dry to the touch. Stick your finger into the potting mix and feel around for moisture. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your fern.

  1. Drooping Fronds:

Another indication that your fern plant needs more water is drooping fronds. When a fern doesn’t get enough water, its fronds will start to wilt and droop down towards the ground.

  1. Yellowing Leaves:

If you notice yellowing leaves on your fern plant, it’s a sign that your plant is not getting enough water. Yellowing leaves mean that the plant is starting to dry out, and it needs more moisture to survive.

  1. Stunted Growth:

Stunted growth is another sign that your fern plant is not getting enough water. When a plant doesn’t get enough moisture, it can’t grow properly, and its growth will be stunted.

How Often Should You Water Your Fern Plant?

The frequency of watering your fern plant depends on several factors such as the type of fern, size of the pot, and environmental conditions. As a general rule of thumb, you should water your fern plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Overwatering can cause root rot, which can damage or kill the plant.

Tips for Watering Your Fern Plant

  1. Water from the bottom:

Ferns are sensitive to water on their leaves, which can cause fungal diseases. To prevent this, water the plant from the bottom by placing the pot in a tray of water and allowing it to soak up the moisture through the drainage holes.

  1. Use lukewarm water:

Ferns prefer lukewarm water, so avoid using cold water straight from the tap. Let the water sit for a few hours to warm up to room temperature before watering your fern plant.

  1. Don’t let the soil dry out completely:

While it’s essential not to overwater your fern plant, you also don’t want to let the soil dry out completely. Ferns need consistent moisture to thrive, so aim to keep the soil evenly moist.


Can I mist my fern plant?

Yes, you can mist your fern plant, but it’s not necessary. Misting can help increase humidity levels around the plant, but it’s not a substitute for watering.

How do I know if I’ve overwatered my fern plant?

Overwatering can cause root rot, which can be fatal to your fern plant. Signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, wilting or drooping fronds, and a musty smell coming from the potting mix.

What kind of soil is best for growing ferns?

Ferns prefer well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is ideal for growing ferns.

In conclusion, caring for your fern plant requires regular watering and attention to its specific needs. By following these tips and monitoring your fern’s growth and appearance, you can ensure that it stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.