Discolored ferns

Asked February 24, 2019, 7:10 PM EST

I have three large ferns that have developed pervasive brown spots and discoloring that has grown worse over the winter. The discoloring tends to start at the tips and spreads down. They are right by the house on the northeast side. All the other ferns on the property look fine, but the others are growing in more natural environments. These look as if they were planted at some point. As the other ferns on the property have been getting greener all winter, these have been getting browner. We have only been here a year, so we don't know much about them, but love them and don't if it's normal or if something is wrong.

Marion County Oregon ferns horticulture

1 Response

Hi:

It's not unusual for sword fern (which is what those look like) to develop some foliar discoloration in winter. We have many of them and some of them tend to do that. What you can do is refresh the canopy of the plant in late winter by cutting off all those old leaves before the new growth starts and by doing that you will get fresh new leaves. Give that a try and if the plants still look like they have a problem this growing season feel free to contact me at the email address below.