By Heather Rhoades
Boston ferns are among the most popular houseplant ferns grown. Many owners of these handsome plants wish to keep their plants happy and healthy through proper Boston fern fertilizing. This brings about the question of how to fertilize Boston ferns. Keep reading to learn the best practices for fertilizing Boston ferns.
How to Fertilize Boston Ferns
Boston ferns, like most ferns, are low feeders, meaning that they tend to need less fertilizer than other plants. But just because they need less fertilizer, does not mean that they do not need to be fertilized. Fertilizing Boston ferns properly at different times of the year is essential to growing beautiful Boston ferns.
Fertilizing Boston Ferns in Summer
Summer is when Boston ferns are in their active phase of growth. More growth means a higher need for nutrients. In the spring and summer, Boston ferns need to be fertilized once a month. The proper Boston fern fertilizer to use in summer is a water soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength. The fertilizer should have a NPK ratio of 20-10-20.
During the summer, you can also supplement the monthly Boston fern fertilizer with slow release fertilizers. Again, when fertilizing Boston ferns, you will want to administer the slow release fertilizer at half rate recommend on the fertilizer container.
Fertilizing Boston Ferns In Winter
In the late fall and through winter, Boston ferns slow their growth significantly. This means that they need less fertilizer to grow. In fact, fertilizing Boston ferns too much during the winter is often the reason that Boston ferns die in the winter months.
During the winter, fertilize Boston ferns once every two to three months. Once again, you will want to fertilize your Boston fern at half the recommended rate on the fertilizer container. The proper Boston fern fertilizer for winter will have a NPK ratio between 20-10-20 and 15-0-15.
In the winter, it is also recommended that distilled water be used once a month to water the Boston fern to help flush out any salts that may have built up in the soil due to the Boston fern fertilizer that has been used.