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Why Is My Fern Turning Yellow – Everything You Need To know

Fern is a beautiful decorative and deciduous flower, popular with gardeners when planting in open ground and with flower growers when growing it indoors. However, the owners of the fern are upset by the fact that the leaves of the flower turn yellow and dry.

Why is my fern turning yellow? If you look through the most popular gardening forums, it turns out that this is a common problem. And the reasons why the fern turns yellow have many causes.

Why Is My Fern Turning Yellow
Why Is My Fern Turning Yellow? via Reddit

Why is My Fern Turning Yellow?

1. Improper watering

The most common reason why fern turns yellow is improper watering. It is the lack or excess of moisture that often affects the plant’s appearance.

If the fern suffers from severe waterlogging, its lower leaves will turn yellow, and their tips will turn brown and dry and on the roots. The mold and rot may appear, and the fronds fall off.

In case of insufficient moisture, the fern will signal you to stop the growth of the leaves and their yellowing. They will look drooping, lethargic, and unhealthy.

If you begin to worry about the fern turning yellow, the first thing you need to do is switch to the correct watering mode.

When growing ferns, you should make it a rule to water the soil to a state of light moisture. It should not be over-dried and overwater because the plant does not tolerate excess moisture.

Watering in the cold season will depend on the temperature in the room. If the apartment is hot, the fern is moistened in the same volume as in the summer.

At moderate temperatures, watering is rarely carried out and in small portions. The optimal frequency of soil moisture for the winter period will be once a week.

2. Non-compliance with the requirements for temperature and humidity

Another reason why fern turns yellow is incorrect selection of the temperature and humidity of the air for its maintenance.

If the leaves turn yellow and the growth of the plant delays, pay attention to the compliance of the conditions in your apartment with the recommended indicators. 16 °С in winter and 22 °С in summer are the comfortable temperature indicators for the ferns.

If the temperature exceeds 25 °C, it is necessary to increase the frequency of spraying the plant to humidify the air in the room. The yellowing of the leaves from the base indicates that the fern is hot and needs to be moved to a cooler place.

When lowering the mercury column on the thermometer to the mark of 12 °C, reducing the number and volume of watering is recommended.

When the young ferns wither and die off, this is a sure sign that the fern is cold, either from the low temperature in the room or from watering with cold water.

Optimum performance can be achieved by regularly spraying two times a day (morning and evening) to one spraying every other day.

In very hot periods, an outdoor shower is recommended, and to avoid water getting on the substrate, and it needs to be covered with plastic wrap or a bag.

Fern also feels comfortable if the container it grows is placed on a pallet with wet expanded clay, sand, or peat. During the heating season, it must be placed away from the sun.

help save my fern Turning yellow shedding leaves Why Is My Fern Turning Yellow
help save my fern Turning yellow shedding leaves? via Reddit

3. Too much or too little fertilizer

Incorrectly applied top dressing can make the fern turn yellow. It is necessary to fertilize the fern only during active growth, which is from spring to early autumn.

This is supposed to be done every two to three weeks. Recommended dosages are best reduced by two to three times. For top dressing, any fertilizer for decorative leafy plants is suitable.

Since the dormant period of ferns falls on October-February, it is necessary to stop any feeding from October until the beginning of spring.

If the fern begins to fade or stop growing, this may be why it lacks nutrients, or the capacity has become small for the development of the root system. The fern needs to be fertilized or transplanted into a larger pot.

4. Mistakes when choosing to light

Another reason my fern turns yellow is insufficient lighting or prolonged exposure of the plant to direct sunlight.

The fern prefers diffused lighting, and it will most likely refuse to grow in the shade. Penetration of direct rays is possible only a couple of hours a day because more ferns will not survive.

An excess of lighting will undoubtedly affect the decorativeness of the fern, where the leaves will fade and become lethargic.

If the fern leaves start to dry up, it is necessary to add the movement of the fern to the north or east sides, where it should be more comfortable.

5. Pests infestation

Why my fern turns yellow is because of the pests’ attack. Since ferns do not tolerate chemicals very well, it is better to prevent the appearance of pests on them. The following pests cause fern leaves to turn yellow:

Spider mite: This insect settles on a fern, subject to the presence of dry air. The spider mites feed on the plant’s juices, from which the leaves turn yellow, sluggish, and fall off.

A cobweb or pinpoint punctures on the leaves will tell you about a pest infestation. The first step to controlling spider mites is to increase the humidity in the room. Then the whole fern is treated with vermitec or Apollo.

Aphid: This insect settles on the underside of the fern’s leaves but most often accumulates on the tops of the shoots. Such areas become discolored, and green leaves curl, turn yellow, and fall off.

The fern is treated by removing aphids from the leaves of the colony with a cotton swab and shedding the soil in the pot. Also, use a systemic insecticide that can be a confidor, actara, or other anti-aphid drugs.

>> Related Post: How to Revive a Fern – A Complete Guide


Ferns won the love of many flower growers because of their mystical aura and gave a unique charm to the site. You will get an evergreen appearance, beautiful shoots, and a cool feeling.

The plant fits perfectly into any environment. Sometimes, fern turns yellow, and in this article, you know why that happens. To prevent the yellow color from forming and make the fern look beautiful, you need to care for it properly.