Ferns: Mark Lane advises on when the plant turns brown

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Gardening guru Mark Lane appeared on BBC Morning Live to answer viewer questions and share his tips for looking after plants in the winter. Mark was joined by presenters Janette Manrara and Gothic Jones, as well as TV carpenter Wayne Perrey. Some of the questions from viewers included what to do with specific plant varieties now as the weather changes.

One viewer called Nikki wanted to know why her indoor fern was looking brown on one side.

Mark explained that ferns do go brown and this could be because of the conditions it’s being kept in.

He said: “Ferns do go brown, obviously they lose leaves.

“With houseplants, sometimes it’s a little bit tricky.

“You know we get that hot and warmth from our central heating. It dries it all out.

“All I would say is remove all that dead leaf, keep the soil moist and put it somewhere a little bit shady.

“Even in a bathroom, they love bathrooms, they love that little bit of humidity as well.”

Ferns like to have moist soil but not wet or soggy soil that can make them waterlogged.

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They love humidity, so they’re perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

Mark also shared advice on how to cut back salvia plants and if they can be moved.

A viewer called Paul asked whether they should cut back their salvia plant.

The plant had grown “really big” in just six months.

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Gethin asked Mark: “He’d like to move it to a larger space but it’s still in flower and the bees are loving it. What’s the best thing to do?”

“Well, that one is called salvia amistad and it does get to around one and a half to two metres tall.

“All you need to do is literally cut it right back to about five centimetres from the base from soil level.

“Then, get your mulch of homemade compost and straw, put that around.

“Don’t let it touch the plant because that is where the crown of the plant is. You don’t want to rot that.

“That will keep it nice and snug and then you know your plant’s going to come back.

“If he wants to move it. Don’t do it now, leave it until the spring time and move it to your larger position.”

Catch up on Morning Live on BBC iPlayer

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