Learn how to give your ferns a little boost with this simple and inexpensive ingredient that you can find in most bathrooms today.
It’s no secret that I love nature and all things natural. So, when I heard about giving summertime ferns a bath, I was intrigued.
Ferns can be pricey depending on where you purchase them. I found these for $14 a piece at our local Ace Hardware store.
They have done well in the hollow, thus far. Especially with regular trimming & “grooming.” So, since I am a self-proclaimed “experimental gardener”, I had to give this method a try!
SUPPLIES AND TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
- 5 gallon painter’s bucket
- a large galvanized bucket
- stick or something to stir with
- fern (smile)
- bag of plain Epsom Salt
LET’S GET STARTED!
Trim all the dead foliage off the plant.
Grab a five gallon bucket and fill with water. We have three ferns, so I just kept the next bucket of water with Epsom Salt on deck for the next rotation.
Add 2-5 TBS of plain Epsom Salt into bucket of water and mix. I used a stick off of the lawn.
Once the Epsom Salt is fully dissolved, pour into the galvanized bucket and place your first fern in. Let sit for a minimum of 3 hours. Some recommend leaving it overnight for best results, but since we had more than one and only one bucket big enough, I stuck with the 3-5 hours.
NOTE: You want the pot to be fully submerged so the roots get the water they need.
UPDATE: I have used both overnight and several hours since writing this post and have found that they both give our ferns a little extra something to boost their vibrancy and healthy appearance.
You’ll hear mixed opinions on the validity of this method. Some swear by it, while others didn’t see much of a difference. I, for one noticed that they were definitely greener after their baths and they could go longer in between watering. (smile) Sounds like a winner to me!
How about you ?! Let me know if you give this a try or tried this method in the past.
Do you add more Epsom salt to the water when you put in the 2nd and then 3rd ferns? Thank you.
Hi Tanya, I appreciate you stopping by and checking this post out. I actually do not add anymore Epsom salt for the other two ferns. Technically, the experts suggest testing the soil before whipping up a batch to soak the plant. Since I do not do that, I try to stick with “less is more” to prevent excessive amounts that can cause damage to the roots or leaves.
I have never heard of this but I have a whole front porch full of ferns and they are looking very sad! Will try Epsom salts overnight. thanks!
Wonderful! Glad you liked this post. Hope they perk back up for you! Ours are needing another round themselves. 😉 Hope you have a blessed rest of your week and thanks so much for stopping by.
How often do you bathe them and is it throughout the year?
Hi Cindi! Thanks so much for stopping by. Ferns like their soil on the moist side, so in addition to regular watering, we place them out from under the porch on rainy days. In between those frequent waterings, I will check the soil with my finger and see if it needs a good Epsom Salt soak. If it is on the drier side, I will mix up a batch and let them soak. They always perk up after their bath, but I make sure not too overdo it because too much can cause damage to their roots and leaves.
Can’t wait to try this Method on my ferns they need some love after winter months thank you I learned something new .
So glad you found this post helpful, Vicki! I appreciate you stopping by!
Stella Dianne Bishop says
Thank you for your post. Every year my ferns look great up till late July then they began to look peaked. I purchase 7 year year for my patio, they hang under the eve of the patio roof. Can I use one bath for at least 3 of them.
Do you have elephant ears; If so what do you do for them?
Thank you so much
Hello Dianne, I appreciate you reading our fern post. It’s one of our most popular. I like to make a big batch and use the solution for all of our large ferns. As far as the elephant ears, we do not have any on our farm. Hope you have a blessed rest of your weekend.
Is it important that it’s a galvanized bucket? If so why is that? Thanks!
Hi there Katie. Thanks for stopping by the blog. A lot of times, we just shop our farmhouse or farm and use what we have. Galvanized buckets come in handy around the hollow. They serve double duty and last a long time.
We have used this method for years. Works great and the ferns Love it. We generally dip ours about every 3 weeks with regular watering in between. It also keeps them from shedding so much which means less cleanup.
Great tip, Kathy! They can get a bit messy at times.
I love this idea. I’m wanting to get a couple ferns for our porch this year but my last one died 🙁 I obviously need help s it’s good to know they like epsom salts!
Krista, I know the feeling! Some of our ferns from the past did not do well. But since adding their Epsom Salt baths to the routine, these have done really well and lasted much longer.
Kathy Pollard says
I could always use some help with my hanging ferns! Thanks for the tip!
Absolutely, Kathy! I appreciate you stopping by.
Jill Gordon says
How would you like use this method for ferns already in very large cement containers? I look forward to trying this on my hanging ferns.