NOTE: In this article, Ostrich fern and Matteuccia struthiopteris may be used interchangeably; in fact, Matteuccia struthiopteris is the botanical name for Ostrich fern.
There are bright bunches of green fronds that favor the feathers of the ostrich ferns. Similar to curly fiddleheads, these fronds grow from the plant’s bottom in the spring. The fronds can be up to 4 feet long.
Why does my Matteuccia struthiopteris roots have rot?
Root rot on your Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Ostrich fern have gray mold spots?
A particular fungus that frequently affects flowers and spreads quickly is known as gray mold spots. This fungus is most likely to blame if you see any brown (or gray) spots. Don’t ignore these signs because doing so could cause your plant to die.
The answer is obvious once you recognize the cause of the problem. Most frequently, it results from the Matteuccia struthiopteris being overwatered. We strongly advise you to remove the damaged plant parts, cut off the diseased roots and leaves, and then repot your plant in a new container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my Ostrich fern have leaf spots?
This type of disease is one of the most frustrating for Ostrich fern owners, we give you all the leads to spot and save your plants that present symptoms such as leaves that suddenly change color, or wilt/droop.
Why are my Ostrich fern leaves turning yellow?
This is probably the most common problem in the gardening world, yellowing leaves. There are 2 main reasons for this phenomenon, overwatering, or a lack of nutrients.
Reduce your watering frequency when you fear your plants are being overwatered, and follow these steps to determine whether they may be lacking in nutrients:
Each deficiency produces a different yellowing on the Matteuccia struthiopteris in question, here’s how to spot them:
- The first symptom of a magnesium deficiency is yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves. The leaf’s core turns yellow while the veins stay green. The edges of the leaf yellow last.
- Another indicator of iron deficiency is yellowing between leaf veins, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are first affected.
- Sulfur shortage first affects the youngest leaves, turning them entirely yellow.
- Insufficient potassium causes the leaf edges to turn brilliant yellow while the interior of the leaf stays green. Older leaves show the symptoms initially, and the leaf edges quickly darken.
- A broad yellowing indicates a nitrogen deficiency. Yellowing starts with older, inner leaves. Yellowing spreads as it advances, eventually touching new leaves as well.
According to the symptoms mentioned above, you just have to act accordingly. You can reduce your watering frequency, or fix a deficiency in Potassium, or Nitrogen, for that, you just have to buy a special soil for your deficiency, a consultant in a gardening store will know perfectly well how to inform you.
Is my Ostrich fern sunburned?
It is quite easy to find out if your Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) has been burned by the sun. Just like on us, your plant will change color in this case, it will start to turn yellow or white.
The leaves of your Ostrich fern can also change color in case it gets too much water or not enough light, as we saw above.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my Ostrich fern leaves turning brown?
The classic sign that a plant has been overexposed to direct sunlight and sunburned is the development of browning leaves. Rest assured that while this may probably save your plant from dying, it will adversely affect its growth.
Should I leave my Matteuccia struthiopteris in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Matteuccia struthiopteris (or Ostrich fern) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
As stated in the paragraph above, the cure is straightforward: simply position your plant’s Ostrich fern so that it is out of direct sunlight. With proper watering and this method, your plant should quickly come back to life.
Why are my Matteuccia struthiopteris leaves drooping or wilting ?
This typically occurs when your Matteuccia struthiopteris gets dehydrated. Large plants are more at risk since they naturally require more water than smaller plants.
Whether your Matteuccia struthiopteris plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
If the soil in your plant’s pot is completely dry, you will need to start by moistening it so that the roots will also benefit from the water. A common mistake is to drown the Ostrich fern right after a dry period thinking that it needs a lot of water.
This is true, but the easiest way to end it is to give too much water at once. Instead, you should water the soil properly, returning to a peaceful watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Matteuccia struthiopteris
Water is essential to the survival of your plant, however, it is important to balance the rate of watering. As we explained above, overwatering could have fatal consequences for your Matteuccia struthiopteris.
You can tell if your plant needs water by touching the soil; if it still feels damp, it’s usually preferable to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
Maintaining a consistent temperature for your Matteuccia struthiopteris is also a good idea, especially if it is kept indoors. At GreenShack, we typically advise reserving a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, avoid positioning your Matteuccia struthiopteris close to air conditioners, radiators, or other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Ostrich fern Dust-Free
This one is about houseplants. Your indoor plants’ leaves get dusty just like your furniture does. The problem is that this might prevent photosynthesis from beginning, which would result in the plants gradually losing their color.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Ostrich fern.
To remove the dust from the leaves of your plant, take a microfiber cloth and gently rub the leaves. You can wet the cloth to make it easier to remove the dust, but never use corrosive products (such as rubbing alcohol!)
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you should be mindful of your drainage, and if they don’t already have them, we suggest selecting a saucer and a pot with drainage holes.
If your pots don’t already have holes in them, you can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the meantime. This will assist in creating a channel and keep the water from pooling there for an extended period of time, protecting the roots from decay.