Fern Diseases

Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Fern diseases.
Fern Diseases - Articles
Fern Diseases
DiseaseSymptomsPathogen/CauseManagement
Bacteria Blight Asplenium, Bird's-Nest FernTranslucent spots develop all over the leaves, enlarge quickly and turn reddish-brown with purple halos.Pseudomonas cichorii or P. gladioliPurchase plants free of the disease. Avoid overhead watering. Discard infected plants.
Graying Nephrolepsis, Boston fernLeaves have a gray color and plants have few runners.DroughtMaintain even soil moisture at all times. Examine roots for nematode and root rot symptoms.
Foliar Nematode AspleniumSmall dark green spots form at the base of fronds. Spots turn brown to black as they enlarge.Aphelenchoides fragariaeDiscard infected plants. Avoid wetting the fronds when watering.
Frond Lobing AspleniumFronds have many lobes and indentations. Frond tips may be crinkled or dead.Over-fertilizationReduce the amount of fertilizer being used and leach the pots.
Leaf Tip BurnTips of fronds and leaflets brown and die.Over-fertilizationReduce the amount of fertilizer being used and leach the pots.
NematodesFoliage grays, wilts, and dies. Roots are rotted.PratylenchusPot in pasteurized potting mix. Discard infected plants.
Pythium Root RotPlants have a gray color or are yellowed, stunted, and wilted. Roots are brown and rotted.PythiumPlant in pathogen-free pasteurized potting mix. Apply a fungicide to protect plants.
Rhizoctonia BlightBrown, irregularly shaped spots form on the foliage close to the crown or sometimes at the top. Spots spread very rapidly. Webbing of the fungus forms from frond to frond.Rhizoctonia solaniPlant in pathogen-free pasteurized potting mix. Apply a fungicide to protect plants.

Prepared by Gary W. Moorman, Professor of Plant Pathology