I have a fern and it’s growing too big for the pot it’s in. Can I trim the leaves?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Kim: When our container plants become root-bound, we have a couple different options for keeping them happy. Cutting back the foliage is not the best solution but here other ideas: First, transplanting them into a larger container with additional soil will allow more room for the roots to grow. Another option is removing it from its current container, root prune it, and re-plant it back into the same container. Root pruning is exactly what it sounds like. After you have removed the fern from the pot, take your hands and loosen the soil and the roots. Then take a clean, sharp pair of gardening scissors or pruners and take some length off the thicker roots, especially if there are any that are growing in a circular pattern around the root ball. Just a couple of inches will be sufficient and will reduce the size of the root ball. Then you can add fresh soil to the bottom of the original container and replant your fern. Both of these options will invigorate your plant. Keep your fern watered well for the next couple of weeks. The soil should not be sopping wet, just consistently moist. This is also a good time to a make sure the drainage holes are not clogged.