Why does my fern have brown leaves? Causes and Solutions

Fern may have brown leaves

Ferns are plants that live in the shade and in places with high humidity.. Sometimes they can even be found in areas with little rain, but nevertheless, being close to the sea or rivers, the dew allows them to grow without too many problems, which is exactly what happens in the Balearic Islands, for example , where the drought can become very severe, but where several native species live, such as the Dryopteris pallida.

They are so, but so demanding of moisture, that when they lack it they have trouble. Therefore, when we dare to buy one, we must take care of it in the best possible way to prevent it from spoiling. Now well, once our fern has brown leaves, what can we do to get them back?

Why can fern leaves turn brown? There are several causes, so let’s get to know them all so you can get an idea of ​​what could have happened to your plant, and what you can do to make it healthy again:


You burn from the sun or direct light

The fern is a very, very sensitive plant that does not tolerate direct sunlight. For it, if it is outdoors, it should be placed in the shade, and if it is indoors, it should be placed in a room where there is plenty of light, but where it will be located in the shade. window gap. This is important, because if placed directly in front of the glass, the magnifying effect would occur and the plant would suffer burns.

But when that happens, We will only see damage on leaves that have been more exposed; that is, those who are better protected will remain healthy. This damage will be yellow and/or brown spots that appear from day to day and get bigger as the plant spends more time exposed to direct light.

The solution is simple: just we have to change places. The brown leaves will continue to be that color, and the yellow ones will also turn brown and dry out, but what matters here is that the healthy leaves stay that way so the plant has energy and can take it. produce news.

It is exposed to drafts

Air currents can be generated by electrical devices, such as fans, air conditioning, etc., or by the rotational movement of the planet itself in the case of wind. Ferns should be in a ventilated area, whether inside or outside the house, but it is important that you know that they do not support strong and/or constant air currents. That is, if we put them, for example, in a room where we have the air conditioning permanently on and/or if we turn it on every day, the leaves will turn brown.

As would happen if they burned, we will also only see damage to the most exposed leaves. First the tips will turn brown, then the rest of the leaf surface. And it is that these air currents dehydrate them, since they dry out the leaves and with them, although the roots do what they can to pump the water as fast as they can, the plant does not has no time to enjoy it, since it is lost.

For it, they should be placed in a place that, yes, is well ventilated, but still protected from draftsespecially if they are strong and/or constant.

ambient humidity is low

Ferns can have brown leaves

Ferns struggle when the relative air humidity, or ambient humidity, is low (below 50%). But it is exactly what is usually found in homes, as well as in areas that do not receive the influence of the sea or/or a river. The damage they suffer under these conditions is the same as when exposed to air currents, namely: the tips begin to turn brown, and sooner or later all the leaves are spoiled. To avoid this, we will water the plants with rainwater, or drinking water once or twice a day.

But beware: if it turns out the humidity is actually very high and you spray your ferns, you’ll put them at risk of disease caused by fungi, such as mildew or phytophthora. Therefore, before doing anything, you should check the humidity level, either by searching the internet for information, or even better, by buying a weather station like this one here.

it doesn’t water well

Watering is necessary, but it is even more so to do it only when it touches. Ferns grow in land that is always a bit moist, but not flooded, so their roots cannot tolerate excess water, but they don’t lack it either. Therefore, we need to know what are the symptoms of excess or lack of irrigation in this type of plants:

  • Excess water: Older leaves turn yellow and brown in a short time. The problem then spreads to other leaves when the roots choke and die.
  • Lack of water: the youngest leaves are the ones that suffer first: they turn brown, from the tip inwards. Moreover, we can see and smell the dry land.

Therefore, we must act quickly. To solve the first problem, we will suspend irrigation and treat it with a systemic fungicide like that so that the mushrooms do not do (more) damage to him. Likewise, if it is in a pot, we must ensure that it is in a pot with holes in its base, and if it has a plate under it, we will have to empty it in case there are any the water.

If, on the contrary, he is thirsty, we will pour a lot of water on him. until you see that the earth is wet. If it is in a pot, we will immerse it in water for a few minutes. And from there, we will water more often.

Ferns in general they must be watered several times a week during the summerbut the rest of the year it is important to space out the waterings because the soil takes longer to dry out.

We hope these tips will help you get your brown leaf fern back.

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