Autumn Fern Care Instructions

Scientific Name: Dryopteris Erythrosora
Synonyms: Autumn Fern, Japanese Shield Fern

The Autumn fern, scientifically known as Dryopteris Erythrosa, captivates with its enchanting, delicate foliage transformation as it grows. Beginning as vibrant coppery orange fronds, it evolves into a rich, deep green as it matures, creating a stunning visual display.

This fern is not only a real beauty but also relatively easy to care for. It thrives in moist potting mixtures, though it can withstand periods of drying out without harm. Though, keep it lightly moist for best results. Originating from the woodlands of Japan and China, it prefers bright, filtered light but is adaptable to lower light conditions, albeit with slower growth rates and less dense foliage. Autumn Fern Care InstructionsProviding the ideal lighting conditions will foster rapid, robust growth, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a dynamic addition to their indoor greenery.

For a striking focal point in your home decor, pair the Autumn fern with one of our locally crafted planters in a variety of stunning colours. Whether as a statement piece for your living space or a thoughtful gift for a loved one, this fern is sure to add an element of natural beauty to any environment.

Toxicity: While ferns are generally non-toxic to humans and animals, some species may cause mild irritation if ingested. It's advisable to keep ferns out of reach of curious pets and children.

Autumn Fern Common Symptoms

  • Yellow Leaves and Mushiness: The yellowing of fern leaves typically indicates overwatering. If you are noticing yellowing foliage with some mushiness, it is likely root rot has set in. Ensure proper drainage by using a well-draining potting mix, that still holds some moisture, and pots with drainage holes. Adjust the fern's location to a spot with indirect sunlight and avoid overwatering. Allow the top 2–3cm of soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Shrivelled, brown or discoloured foliage: This is often caused by direct sunlight. Autumn ferns thrive best in a semi shaded position, however, prolonged direct sunlight can lead to leaf discoloration and the shrivelling of foliage on the Autumn Fern.
  • Fuzzy White Growth: Fuzzy white growth on fern foliage indicates a fungal infection, commonly known as powdery mildew, which thrives in humid conditions. Trim  back any infected leaves, and provide ventilation. If the infection is extreme, treat with a fungicide such as Copper Soap.
  • Wilting, curling, or leaf loss: Insufficient humidity, exposure to dry air, or underwatering can all cause fern foliage to wilt, curl, or lose its leaves. Increase humidity levels around the fern by misting the leaves daily or placing a humidifier nearby. Grouping ferns together can also help create a microclimate with higher humidity. Ensure adequate airflow to prevent stagnant air around the plant. Also, check soil moisture and ensure that the soil is evenly damp. 
  • Slow to No Growth: Lack of growth in ferns can be attributed to inadequate light, nutrients, or root-bound conditions. Assess the fern's lighting conditions and provide sufficient indirect sunlight. Avoid making the common mistake that ferns do not need light. Feed the fern with a balanced liquid fertiliser at a diluted ratio during the growing season and ensure it is not root-bound by repotting it into a slightly larger container with fresh potting mix.
  • Pests: Common pests that may affect ferns include spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. They are commonly spotted when fern leaves start to curl. Inspect the fern regularly for signs of pest infestation, such as webbing, sticky residue, or tiny insects. Treat affected plants with neem oil or organic pesticides, ensuring thorough coverage of both the tops and undersides of leaves. Isolate infested ferns to prevent the spread of pests to other plants. To identify pests, have a look at our: Pest Identification Blog.

           Autumn Fern Care Instructions

          • Origin: Autumn Ferns are native to the Woodlands of Japan and China.
          • Height: These ferns are clump-forming and can reach sizes of 60cm wide and tall.
          • Light: Autumn ferns thrive in indirect or filtered sunlight. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, which can scorch their delicate foliage.
          • Humidity: These ferns prefer high humidity levels, ideally between 50% and 80%. Increase humidity by misting the leaves, placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, or using a humidifier.
          • Temperature: Maintain temperatures between 15°C to 24°C. Avoid exposing ferns to drafts or extreme temperature fluctuations.
          • Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or mixes formulated for ferns. A slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (around 5.5 to 7.0) is ideal for most fern species.
          • Fertiliser: Feed ferns with a balanced liquid fertiliser diluted to half strength during the growing season (spring to early autumn). Avoid overfertilizing, as it can lead to salt buildup and damage the plant's roots.
          • Pruning: Remove dead or yellowing fronds regularly to maintain the plant's appearance and promote healthy growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts at the base of the frond.
          • Repotting: Repot ferns every 1 to 2 years to refresh the soil and provide room for root growth. Choose a pot slightly larger than the current one, and gently loosen the roots before placing the plant in its new container.
          • Propagation: Autumn Ferns can be propagated through division or spores. Divide overcrowded clumps of ferns during the growing season, ensuring each division has healthy roots. Alternatively, collect spores from mature fronds and sow them in moist soil to propagate new plants.

            If in stock, shop for Autumn Ferns here.

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