Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Repot a Root-Bound Boston Fern

...
fern image by Lytse from Fotolia.com

The Boston fern is a popular houseplant that is not fussy about its environment and requires minimal care. However, because it is a vigorous grower, it needs re-potting every two to three years. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it is time to re-pot your fern: Use a good commercial potting soil high in humus matter, such as those formulated for African violets, and choose a pot that is the same size as, or 2 inches larger in diameter than, the original pot.

Remove the Boston fern from its pot. Gently remove as much soil from around the roots as possible.

With the knife, carefully make three or four slices into the root mass. Work from the base of the fern downward, making each cut approximately one-half inch deep.

  • The Boston fern is a popular houseplant that is not fussy about its environment and requires minimal care.
  • There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it is time to re-pot your fern: Use a good commercial potting soil high in humus matter, such as those formulated for African violets, and choose a pot that is the same size as, or 2 inches larger in diameter than, the original pot.

Fill the bottom of the new pot with enough soil to bring the Boston fern up to the level it was at originally. The new soil level should be about 1 inch below the rim of the pot.

Place the Boston fern in the new pot. Add soil around the sides, tamping down gently as you go to eliminate air pockets around the plant’s roots. Smooth out the top level of soil and tamp down gently.

Clip off all withered or brown fronds from the newly potted fern. These fronds are dead and will not rejuvenate.

  • Fill the bottom of the new pot with enough soil to bring the Boston fern up to the level it was at originally.
  • Add soil around the sides, tamping down gently as you go to eliminate air pockets around the plant’s roots.

Water well, allowing about an hour for the water to sink in. If the soil level has sunk past an inch below the rim of the pot, add more soil and water again.

Place your re-potted Boston fern where it will receive bright, filtered light. Protect the plant from strong sunlight after re-potting.

Tip

If your Boston fern is big to begin with and you do not want it to get any larger, divide the plant into two sections first. Then continue, following re-potting instructions.

Warning

Take care while slicing the roots with the knife. Slice downward, away from your hands.

Related Articles

How to Care for a Hanging Boston Fern
How to Care for a Hanging Boston Fern
How to Repot Fern Plants
How to Repot Fern Plants
How to Trim an Asparagus Fern
How to Trim an Asparagus Fern
How Long Do Sequoia Trees Live?
How Long Do Sequoia Trees Live?
How to Repot an Asparagus Fern
How to Repot an Asparagus Fern
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Growing English Ivy Outdoors
Growing English Ivy Outdoors
How to Transplant Agave Plants
How to Transplant Agave Plants
How to Keep a Fuchsia Over Winter
How to Keep a Fuchsia Over Winter
The Best Way to Transplant Ivy Plants
The Best Way to Transplant Ivy Plants
How to Transplant Staghorn Ferns
How to Transplant Staghorn Ferns
How to Cut Apart a Staghorn Fern
How to Cut Apart a Staghorn Fern
How to Take Care of a Boston Fern With Brown Leaves
How to Take Care of a Boston Fern With Brown Leaves
Garden Guides
×