Adding to my love of window boxes, I also love the look of big, full ferns on a southern front porch. We don't live in the south (nor are we southerners), but the big front porch with the rocking chairs and hanging Boston ferns holds some kind of American nostalgia for me.
When we first moved into our new home, I was so excited that first summer to plant my ferns on our front porch and couldn't wait for them to grow big and full. The only problem was that they never grew very well. They got dry and dead, brown fronds were everywhere. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. I watered them and even fertilized them. This happened the following year too. I was so disappointed.
By the third summer, I had almost given up on my idea of big, beautiful ferns. That is when I made a few changes that made a big difference.
- Epsom salts- an old lady at a roadside flower stand told me this secret. One tablespoon of epsom salts dissolved in gallon of water and fed to ferns once a week. Better than any fertilizer and cheap too!
- Baskets- coco liner baskets don't hold moisture. They are not a good choice for a hanging basket since the wind is already drying to a plant. I traded out the coco lined baskets for wood baskets with plastic liners. I poked a small hole in the plastic at the bottom of the basket to let the water drain.
- Soil Moist- planting product that is a gel like substance that I use in all my container planters. It reduces watering by 50%! Talk about eco-friendly!
Soon, the $5 Boston Ferns I bought from Lowe's last weekend will look something like this:
Easier Than I Thought!