question about fern care in winter for a cat owner

Asked October 30, 2016, 8:44 PM EDT

Hi, We had a question posted on our Mill Creek Towne Garden Club Facebook page. I tried reaching our resident master gardener but haven't heard from her yet. Can you answer this question? Thank you! Hello. I am not a member of this club, but am a member of the community and thought maybe someone could answer a question for me. I have 4 ferns (I believe they're Boston Ferns) that did beautifully this summer on my patio. I would like to try to save them for next year, but am not sure what the best way to do this is. I have a cat, and I understand that they are poisonous to cats, so the only real space to house them would be the basement. I do have a sliding glass door that I could place them near, so they could get some sun. Are they likely to survive if I do this? Mill Creek Towne Garden Club - Derwood, Maryland

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

In general, if kept in the basement area your fern will drop foliage and go dormant. It will be in a cooler area and will thin due to a loss of light. Keep it watered until it loses its foliage. Then just keep it alive. Do not overwater and do not fertilize during the winter. You can prune brown dead foliage.
In the spring, repot if need be and place outdoors after frost. Continue normal care.
Here is some information on Boston fern http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1307.html
mh