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Rabbits foot fern

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Question: 22-5201
My rabbits foot fern and other fern are turning yellow and then brown. The rabbit¼s foot is actually dropping whole leaves. Could it be too much water? Pat, Clinton, CT

Mort's Answer:
Most folks water at definite intervals. This does not allow for the variance in sunlight and the amount of evaporation. Since summer solstice the days have grown shorter. The effects of this constancy begins to adversely affect most houseplants around the fall equinox. Symp- toms of yellowing begin as winter approaches. You will have to change the soil. Add a third sand to regular potting soil for the new mix. Strip off any brown or black roots before putting the plant into the new pot. The best measure of a plant¼s capacity to hold water is your finger. Put it in the soil. If soil sticks to your finger, do not water. If the soil falls away, soak it up good. As you learn this technique, you can touch the leave with your other hand. You will eventually have the sensitivity to be able to ascertain the need for water by simply touching your plant. This can be a very touching experience.

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