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Why are the leaves on my Fern limp and drooping?

It can be alarming to notice sudden dramatic leaf drooping on your Fern, but don’t be alarmed! This is almost always easily fixed.

Incredibly dry soil

Your fern likes to be kept consistently moist, so be sure that it’s getting enough water. Keep a consistent watering schedule, when 25-50%  of the soil volume is dry. Water thoroughly until you see if flow out of the drainage hole and discard the excess water in the saucer. 

If you accidentally let your fern’s soil dry out completely, you may see leaves go limp, droop, and possibly start to wrinkle and brown. If the soil is extremely dry all the way through the pot, a good soak is in order. 

Here’s how to bottom water your fern:

  1. Place your plant in your sink or tub without the saucer. Fill your basin up with about 3-4″ of water. Make sure the water isn’t hot! 
  2. Allow your plant to soak up water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot for at least 45 min. 
  3. Feel the top of the soil after your plant has been soaking–has the water reached the top 2-3” of soil?
  4. If not all the soil feels saturated, water your plant slightly from the top of the soil to help speed up the saturation.
  5. When your plant’s soil is evenly damp, drain the sink/tub and allow the plant to rest while it drains thoroughly. Place the plant back on its saucer and back in its proper spot. 

Keep in mind that when the soil goes from bone-dry to saturated, it can cause stress for your plant and may cause leaves to droop. Give it some time to adjust.

Not enough humidity

Your Fern will thrive in a humid environment. Increase the humidity around your plant by misting the leaves on a regular basis, using a pebble tray, or moving a humidifier nearby.

Need more help?

We're confident your Fern will be back to normal in no-time, but if you've followed the steps above and things just aren't improving you can contact us here.