The 5 Best Fertilizers for Ferns

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Not all fertilizers are created equal. The difference between the best ones out there and an average one is drastic. With a quality product that has the ideal nutrient ratios, your fern will grow strong and healthy.

In this article, I will be reviewing the top products for ferns. Using the proper fertilizer is of utmost importance in the health of your fern as it is literally the nutrients that your fern is using to grow. Unfortunately, many products on market try to cut corners by using cheap ingredients to deliver nutrients. I’ve done the legwork in compiling a list of the highest quality products to help your fern flourish.

Comparing Our Top 3 Recommendations

At A Glance

These are all high quality products for fern. They use quality ingredients and are much better than many other products on the market. Please keep reading below to learn more about each one. 

Short Reviews

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Flower & Vegetables

Osmocote’s Smart-Release Plant Food Flower & Vegetable is a perfect choice for a product that delviers a continuous supply of nutrients for up to four months. The granules are coated in a semi-permeable resin, which dissolves in water, distributing the nutrients into the soil. The nutrients themselves are designed to release during warmer weather, so plants will receive nutrients during active growing periods. This formula targets both the plant’s top growth as well as the roots. Ferns fed with this tend to grow larger, healthier fronds and are stronger overall due to a healthier root system.

Dr. Earth Life All Purpose Fertilizer

Dr. Earth Life has a formula that works to quickly release nutrients into the soil but then continues to feed plants for months. The formula is designed to work well on a variety of plants, including ferns. Gardeners who use this product will see, healthier fern fronds with a rich green color. Gardeners will also enjoy larger overall plants. In addition, this product is organic, contains no chicken manure or GMOs, and is gentle enough that it won’t burn even sensitive plants.

EarthPods Premium Indoor Plant Food – All Purpose Formula

EarthPods Premium Indoor Plant Food is easy to use, has no mess, and delivers nutrients for an extended period of time. The all-purpose formula is idea for plants such as ferns and will help them grow fuller fronds. The formula also promotes strong stems and roots, brings out richer frond colors, and helps plants fight off diseases. EarthPods are also eco-, pet-, and child-friendly and are made sustainably with natural ingredients. They are also easy to store, and the premeasured capsules make it simple to ensure that each plant receives the correct amount of nutrients.

Jobe’s Fern & Palm Spikes

Jobe’s Fern & Palm Fertilizer Spikes are specifically designed to help ferns flourish. When inserted near the plant’s dripline, these spikes deliver nutrients directly to the roots so that plants are healthier and fuller. The spikes are simple to insert into the ground and can be placed at any time between March and October for optimal fertilization. In addition, they feature a slow release formula, so they deliver nutrients for an entire season. Most importantly, these spikes are much less mess than other products, have no odor, and won’t create wasteful runoff during watering.

Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting and Growing Food

Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting and Growing Food is a slow-release fertilizer, which ensures that plants will receive essential nutrients for an extended period of time. The concentrated formula, which contains equal amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, is designed to deliver high amounts of nutrients while maintaining a balanced pH. This makes it ideal for a wide range of plants, including ferns. Gardeners who use this product will find that within a short period of time, their ferns are leafier, stronger, and much healthier.

Fern Care Guide

Fern are plants that are classified as rhizomes that help add greenery to garden beds that are attractive. They also add a pre-historic flavor to your garden that will be slightly reminiscent of Jurassic park (the oldest fern fossils are actually over 300 million years old). Fern are not hard to grow as long as you give it the proper nutrients and growing environments.

Proper Soil Moisture

Ferns grow most robustly when they are kept moist.

They are native to tropical areas that have high humidity, so you can help simulate this environment by keeping the soil evenly moist.

Of course overwatering can also cause the fronds to yellow and wilt because it will eventually lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. So you’ll want to try to keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet.

Indirect Sunlight

Indirect sunlight or partial shade will help the fern grow up nice and healthy.

If you are growing your fern indoor, a north-facing window is ideal. Keeping the fern in full direct sunlight may scald the leaves and also may cause the soil to dry out faster.

Ideal NPK Ratio

The ideal N-P-K ratio for ferns is a ratio of 10-10-10- or 15-15-15 (any similar ratio). Products with slow release are ideal. Be careful not to overfertilize as this is one of the most harmful things you can do. If the tips of your fern’s fronds turn brown (leaf burn), this is a sign of over fertilizing. It is preferable to fertilize in the spring to midsummer.

Bottom Line

Again, I recommend buying Osmocote’s fertilizer. Don’t make the mistake of buying any average product at your local gardening store. Many of them will simply not produce the same results. You cannot go wrong with any of the fertilizers above. 

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About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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