Sad Bird's Nest Fern
Hello,<br><br>I'm having some troubles with my BNF. It looks like the leaves are actually doing quite fine from a color perspective. But from an energy level perspective, they're actually quite sad looking. I did think that I might have watered it too much, because its soil was wet for a few days, so I've extended the timeline of when I water it. For location reference, it's not directly near a window in my office, but it does have line of site to bright office light. I'm wondering if it might be too far though? Though how close to sunlight does it need to be? <br><img alt=""><br>How can I make my littl<img alt="">e fern happy again!?
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    abcactus Hi! I had similar issues with mine, I changed it's the environment and placed it somewhere with more light and gave it more water than I thought it would need. You might want to make sure that it's actually getting enough water to its roots throughout the pot. If the roots do not get enough water, they cannot transport cellulose throughout the leaves and can cause the leaves to sag. Cellulose is what typically keeps the plant looking perky. What is the texture of the leaves? They look a tad crunchy, and if this is so, it might be underwatered. Hope to hear back from you soon!
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      Chelsea Hi Abactus, thank you for your reply!! So it's definitely getting enough water, if not too much water! I stopped watering it after the water I gave it caused it to wilt like this :(. But the point you made about cellulose is interesting, do you think that is what hte issue is? The leaves aren't crunchy, they're pretty normal actually, just sad :/
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    PlntNrd How much and how often did you water it? I don’t think that pot has a drainage hole, so it’s quite possible you severely overwatered it. These tolerate lower light conditions, but the lower the light, the less water is needed. I have mine in a room that’s fairly dark, no windows, just a skylight and a ceiling fan/lamp and it’s doing fine. You might want to check the soil to see if it’s wet down in the bottom of the pot. If there’s water that’s been sitting in the pot for awhile and the soil has been kept soggy, that will cause the roots to rot. The Sill does add a drainage layer of lava rocks, but if you put so much water that it went above that layer, and then watered again before needed, the drainage layer won’t help. It’s possible that you may need to repot it in fresh dry soil and kind of start over and, if you choose to repot, I would check the roots thoroughly to see if there is any rot issues.
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      Chelsea Hi PlntNrd! Thanks so much for your feedback. So if I DID overwater it, do I just let it soak up the water and get back to a normal state? It's a new plant, so I don't want to have to repot or resoil it, and the team at The Sill repotted it in store with lava rocks at the bottom, so ideally they will help soak up the water? I haven't watered it since then to let it fully dry out and bounce back. What are your thoughts?
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        PlntNrd To try to save your plant without repotting, you need to get that soil to dry out. The Sill does add lava rocks for drainage, but if you water above that drainage layer it becomes ineffective and the soil gets soggy. First, you need to try to aerate the soil. I would get a pencil and stick it in the soil a bunch. Basically poke a bunch of holes in the soil, but stop before the drainage layer, to get some air in there. Second, don’t water again until it’s dry. To check for dryness, get a chopstick and stick it in the soil, stop before drainage layer, and, when you pull it out, if the soil is wet there will be residue on the chopstick. A third thing you can do, once you start watering again, is add H2O2 to your water. H2O2 actually does a bunch of beneficial things. As the peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen in to the soil, which is great for the roots, especially waterlogged roots. It also kills fungus gnats eggs, mold, algae, etc. It can do a lot of great things. Buy 35% food grade H2O2, then do a 1:10 dilution in to room temp filtered, distilled, or spring water. You can water you plant with this mixture every time you water until it’s back to normal. Most important- be very careful when watering. Like I said above- the drainage doesn’t work if you drown it. I have the same exact plant in the same pot from The Sill and, when I water it, I only give enough to wet the top and let that soak in, I think about 200-250mls. Before you water from now on, use the chopstick trick to check the soil to make sure it needs water. I hope all of this helps a little. Good luck!
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          PlntNrd Oh yeah, and make sure it’s out of direct sunlight, but in bright indirect light. The more light, the more water that plant will use, which can help the soil dry out. Direct sunlight will be too strong for a plant that not totally strong and healthy (plus BNF don’t need strong sunlight), but bright light will help it use some of the excess water and dry it out.
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            Chelsea This is amazing insight and help! So on Monday, I checked the soil and it was completely dried out, so I did water it just enough to cover the top, and let it soak in. I also moved it toward a window that receives bright indirect light for most of the day. I'll see if this helps, while I also get the H2O2 you mentioned. Thank you!! Ideally I'd like to save this before it's too late, so I'm glad you were able to help :)
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        Pei [293801,Chelsea] I would totally let it dry out first. You want to make sure the soil is at least 1" dry to touch before you water it again! Also is it sitting on your table that's not near the window? I would make sure it gets indirect bright light too - within 3-4 feet from a window is best at least.