Crispy Wave plants are pretty unique. Due to their larger leaf-surface area, these unusual ferns filter out more toxins from the air than their wispy fern-family members. This outstanding ability has earned them a big reputation, even with NASA!
However, big leaves can sometimes come with big problems. Especially if they're starting to brown. So, here you are online, researching the issue. And, you may have come up with "everything" being the problem: underwatering, inconsistent watering habits, too much sun, too much fertilizer, not enough humidity, etc.! The list could go on!
Calm down. While there can be many contributors, if you run a few "diagnostics" you should be able to identify the problem. More times than not, humidity plays the most prominent role. But, before we get to that topic, let's check a few things off the list.
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This is one of the easiest things to identify. Where is your mini fern sitting? Keep in mind, in nature, these ferns grow on the forest floor. You may read that and conclude that you should stick your mini plant in the dimmest corner of your house. But don't do that either! Even the darkest forest floor has some dabbled sun; and plenty of indirect lighting! As long as your Crispy Wave is sitting in indirect, filtered light, its lighting won't be a contributor to your brown tip dilemma. Remember, direct sun can burn these larger-than-average leaves!
How moist do you keep your Crispy Wave? And what are your watering habits? These are the next two identifiers! Your fern likes to stay evenly moist and likes frequent, light waterings to maintain "barely moist" soil. If you allow your Crispy Wave to dry out in-between waterings, this could cause your plant to develop brown tips.
If you've passed the previous tests, it may be time to look into your fertilizing ritual! Why is this important? Too strong or too much fertilizer can quickly equal brown tips. It can burn your plant, just like the sun! What should you be doing?
You should be using a half-strength fertilizer once a month in the growing season (April-September). You should not be fertilizing out of season; let your fern rest for the remainder of the year.
Keeping a Humid Environment
All the world's humidity can't fix your problem if your lighting, watering, or fertilization are haywire. Your plant requires balance! So, how are you measuring up so far? If you're confident in your above habits, then good for you! Now, let's delve into the world of humidity!
As forest dwellers and moisture lovers, Crispy Wave plants need humidity to combat brown tips. Usually, the conditions in an average home are not ideal for your plant. So, how can you accommodate your woodland friend?
Purchase a Humidifier
Humidifiers can cost as low as thirty dollars, and of course, can go up in price from there. A humidifier can be an excellent investment. Humidity not only makes a significant difference in the life of your Crispy Wave, but it can help you too. Say goodbye to dry skin in the winter months! But, even if you're not too worried about yourself, think of all the other plants you have that would benefit from the extra moisture. A humidifier could be just the thing to ensure that you have a lush indoor jungle every month of the year!
Use a Tray of Pebbles
If you want to test the waters, so to speak, before diving into a humidifier, you can always use a tray of pebbles. Place pebbles in a deep dish, fill it with water to mid-pebble level, and set your Crispy Wave on top of the rocks. The ambient moisture will soak into your crispy wave’s leaves, hopefully diminishing your brown tips!
Keep in mind, your fern hates a 'soggy bottom,' so make sure you aren't placing your pot directly in any water. You don't want the moisture to wick up into the soil; you're just trying to get it in the air.
One last reminder: If you're using your tray of pebbles for the long term, make sure to keep everything clean and change the water frequently. Just imagine a scummy fish tank... that's what your tray of pebbles could look like if you don't keep on top of it! This can bring harmful funguses and molds to your plant's door. You don't want to overcome brown tips to only have a more serious problem!
If the above two options seem too taxing, try giving your plants the switcharoo. Drafts kill humidity. This goes for either hot or cold air. So, to prevent brown tips, you'll want to move your Crispy Wave away from any air vents in your home.
You might also consider putting your plant in the bathroom. This is the most humid room in your house! The kitchen is also the second-best option, especially if you cook often. Those boiling pots of rice and soup will humidify your Crispy Wave!
Slowly Make Changes
While it may be tempting, try to go slow when making changes to your Crispy Wave's environment and conditions. If you make a ton of changes all at once, you won't get a precise diagnosis of what the problem really was. And worse yet, if your fern baby starts going seriously downhill, you won't know what to 'undo.' So, go slow. Brown-tipped leaves are not the end of the world--your plant is still pretty healthy!
Keep in mind that if you change your plant's location to an area that gets less air-flow, you will have to alter your watering habits. Less ventilation means that the soil will not dry out as quickly or consistently as before. So, if you continue on watering like nothing's changed, your crispy wave fern will have more than brown tips to worry about; it could develop root rot!
Crispy Wave is a slow grower. If you don't get the results you want right away, don't fret. Be patient! If those brown tips are bothering you, you can cut them off with sterile scissors. The real solution will come, however, when your plant grows new leaves. So hang out, and soak in some humidity with your fern friend.
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