Can we bring our ferns in for the winter to care for them until spring season?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Joyce: Tropical ferns can be brought indoors to survive the winter months. Like any other tropical we over-winter inside it is best to place it in a brightly lit room; a south-facing window would be ideal. Even the shade-loving ferns will benefit from as much light as possible during this time. The light levels are so much lower that we do not have to worry about too much light during the winter months. You will want to adjust your watering schedule since they will not require as much moisture as they did outside. This will depend on the temperature and humidity of your home but every seven to 10 days should be fine. Avoid fertilizing this time of year as well. The downfall to over-wintering ferns indoors is that they are notorious for dropping their fronds. It can become a maintenance issue and the plants may not look very nice as we hit the middle of winter, so another option is to cut back the foliage before you bring the plants inside and then put them in the basement. Next spring when the frost-free date for your area passes put them back outdoors, fertilize them, and gradually move them into a sunnier location if they are Kimberly Queen ferns. Otherwise leave them in the shade and they will begin to put on new growth. This is a process but if you have the space and the patience it is worth the effort.