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Why is my Crispy Wave Dying?

If you are reading this article, chances are, you have hit a few road bumps with caring for your Crispy Wave Fern. While these plants are slow growing (making progress or decline hard to identify), they are hardy! In short: Your plant has a good chance of making it! What are some "causes of death," and how can you reverse the process?


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How would you describe the decline in your Crispy Wave's health? Below is a list of common issues and questions that arise.


What should I do if my fern has brown edges?

Most of the time, humidity is a critical contributor to a Crispy Wave developing brown edges. How can you raise the humidity levels surrounding your plant?

Purchasing a humidifier will quickly raise the humidity levels in your home. Place your Crispy Wave nearby, but not directly in, the mist stream. If this is not a good option for you, consider placing your fern in the kitchen or bathroom: the two most humid rooms of the average home!

Keep in mind that humidity is not the only cause of brown edges. Take time to reexamine your watering routine. You could be watering your fern too much or too little.

The soil on your plant should feel moist but never entirely saturated. Achieve this by watering your plant with small amounts of water more frequently. Also, consider purchasing a bottom-watering pot, which will naturally wick moisture into the soil as needed.

Do not routinely allow your Crispy Wave to dry out between watering. And if you do, do not overcompensate by watering it with more than the usual amount. Get back on track with your routine, and your plant will eventually recover.

Feel free to cut brown leaves and edges off your Crispy Wave by using sterile scissors to boost its appearance. Growing new leaves will take time, so be patient.


What if my Crispy Wave has brown spots?

If your fern has brown spots on its leaves, it could be suffering from several issues. Take time to diagnose the problem accurately.

Leaf Spot: This condition is caused by allowing water droplets to set on the leaves. You should water your Crispy Wave in the morning to ensure that any moisture on the leaves will evaporate as quickly as possible. Consider bottom-watering or watering the soil-only of your fern.

Scale Insects: These bugs can be challenging to identify because they often look like leaf damage. Closely inspect the spots on your fronds. These insects stick to the leaf, like a barnacle. They are shiny and have a hard, maple-syrup colored shell.

If you identify that your Crispy Wave is suffering from Scales, you will need to be diligent. It usually takes more than one treatment to fix the problem. To start, quarantine your Crispy Wave by separating it from your other houseplants.

When selecting a treatment plan for your fern, remember that they are sensitive to chemicals. You should start by using organic options.

  • Remove the Scales by hand: If you have a limited number of insects, you can rub them off by hand.

  • Dab alcohol on the Scales: Take an ear swab, and dab each insect with alcohol, which will dissolve them.

After either of these treatments, gently clean your Crispy Wave's fronds using a soft, damp cloth.

If the problem persists or intensifies after using the above methods, consider a chemical spray. Again, this will be incredibly stressful and damaging to your plant, so it should only be considered as a last option.

Leaf Rot: This condition appears as brown patches on the leaf surface. This indicates that there are issues with your root system, resulting from overwatering or watering the rosette-center of your fern.

Remember, never water the center of your Crispy Wave. If you routinely over-head water your plant, make sure the rosette stays dry.

Spores: It is possible for patches of spores to show up on a mature Crispy Wave. This means your fern is trying to reproduce. These spores are not damaging to your plant and are a sign that it is healthy. They will dry up on their own but can be removed by wiping the fronds with a damp cloth.

Chemical Sensitivity: As stated above, Crispy Wave Ferns are sensitive to chemicals, which can cause brown spots to appear on the leaves. If you usually water your fern from the faucet, consider using filtered water. If that is not accessible, let your tap-water sit for 24-hours before using it, giving the chemicals a chance to evaporate.

Overfertilization: Using fertilizer that is too strong, or using it too frequently, will result in brown spots appearing on the leaves of your plant. Stick to an appropriate fertilizing routine: a half-strength fertilizer once a month during the growing season (April-September), and absolutely no fertilizer during dormancy (October-March).

Sun Exposure: You should never place your Crispy Wave Fern in direct sunlight. Sunburn will appear on the leaves as large, brown, dry patches. The overall appearance of your fern will be bleached. Remember: keep your Crispy Wave in bright, indirect light to preserve a rich green color and prevent sunburn.


What if my leaves are turning yellow?

All leaves have a life expectancy, so do not be surprised when older fronds on your Crispy Wave start to yellow from the tips. In this case, your plant is not dying, just that one leaf. You can speed up the process by cutting these leaves to the plant's base with sterile scissors.

However, if your Crispy Wave is yellowing from its base-out, your plant is too warm. These ferns are at their peak performance at temperatures between 50-72°F and do not do well with steep temperature fluctuations. Make sure to keep your Crispy Wave away from all heat sources in the winter!


Why are my Crispy Wave's fronds drooping?

It is typical for the Crispy Wave's leaves to grow differently once settled in a home environment. Check to make sure each frond is healthy, firm, and holding its shape.

If the fronds are weak and flimsy, check your dirt! Healthy foliage on a Crispy Wave requires evenly moist soil. Allowing the soil to dry out completely or allowing your plant to remain saturated can result in limp leaves.


Why are leaves falling off?

As already noted, if some leaves are yellowing from the tips and dropping off, it is a sign that your Crispy Wave is maturing. The leaves reached the end of their lifespan.

If your fern experiences a sudden leaf drop, you must examine your watering habits. Cold water can cause leaves to fall off your Crispy Wave. Make sure you only water your plant with neutral, room-temperature water.


We trust that this article has provided you with hope. Your fern is not dying; it simply needs some extra TLC. If you start treating these issues immediately, your Crispy Wave will be on the road to recovery!



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