This makes the plant a good choice for shady, damp areas, providing a spark of bright color where few other plants will grow. Regular irrigation is essential during the summer months. It works well in a shady area or one with dappled sun, as long as it gets a little more water. Today, some 12,000 species of ferns still exist on earth, according to the University of Georgia, most of them growing in the tropics. Fern height from 80 to 130 in, one of the most beautiful and large. Plant your new divisions in containers that are a quarter to a third larger than the size of the plant’s root division for best results. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Space plants 2 to 4 feet apart, allowing them to reach their mature size without crowding. In their natural environment, most ferns grow in humid forests or on the bank of a water source, so they generally require very moist soil. These can vary among species, but most ferns like shade or at most, dappled sun. Though most ferns are not fussy about soil pH, some types prefer acidic soil. Plant ferns in fertile, well-drained soil in partial or full shade. Mix 3 inches of this nutrient-rich garden soil in with the top 6 inches of existing soil, or improve individual planting holes by blending garden soil and native soil in a 50:50 ratio. Moist soil is usually a requirement, with lots of organic matter blended in to increase the nutrients and facilitate drainage. Pick a spot in your home that doesn’t get a lot of … Ferns prefer lightweight, moist, mostly well-drained soil. In spring, cut the rhizome into segments about 5-8cm long, ensuring that each segment has at least one growth bud and a small root ball 2. Most ferns grow best in loose, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. She earned a BA from U.C. 10 best ferns for decorative compositions in the garden. Many ferns grow by rhizomes with shallow roots, so you won’t have to dig deep. Matteuccia Struthiopteris. Sphagnum peat moss is good to add to the soil for holding moisture and will add some acid to the soil as it decomposes. From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. They are classified into hundreds of genera and thousands of species. If you would like to keep the same size fern for next year, a good rule of thumb is to split the fern to a third of its size for its current container. Although ancient plants, most fern species are neither rare nor out of the financial reach of most gardeners. Plant ferns in moist, slightly acidic soil. Thanks to the mild climate, the ferns grow year round outdoors. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. The nutrients magnesium and calcium should be available to the roots. According to Fine Gardening, this fern can tolerate very dry or very moist conditions and offers 1 to 2-foot fronds in a deep green, glossy color. If the soil is not well-draining, mix in perlite, too. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Soil Drainage and pH. A neutral or slightly acidic soil is preferable for most ferns; aim for a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. How to Plant Ferns Outdoors Ferns Are Ancient Plants. It depends on the growth habit of the fern as to how it will divide: Creeping rhizomes 1. Plant fern plants in lightly shaded to fully shaded areas. Dryopteris erythrosora. Slightly acidic soil may help it grow better. Boston fern in gardens require partial to full shade, or dappled, filtered light. If you are considering growing a fern plant outdoors, you need to pick a plant that matches... Fern Cultural Requirements. Check the pH of your soil and choose ferns that will be happy in those growing conditions. These might do well in your garden as outdoor ferns in pots or planted directly into a bed. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. But there are types of outdoor ferns that can tolerate a wider range of hardiness zones. The ghost fern needs to be water regularly, ideally once a week or enough to ensure the soil remains moist. Although ferns are fairly drought tolerant, they do need some water so Monty offers tips on maintaining optimum moisture levels in the first year after planting. Selecting Outdoor Ferns. Your IP: 45.115.39.219 Growing Ferns as Houseplants. The easiest way to propagate hardy ferns is by division. Use a sharp spade to dig out the ferns with as much root ball and soil as possible. Ferns are vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds or flowers. They are among the seedless vascular plants that laid down the coal beds the world has relied on in the recent past for energy. They prefer moist, rich humus soil with a slightly acid pH (5.3 to 5.5 pH range). Grow your fern in a plastic pot instead of clay pot. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. Choose an area where they have protection from the afternoon sun to protect their fronds from drying out or scorching. Place the pots in light shade and keep the compost moist Crown splitting It can t… The plant prefers rich, organic soil. This plant grows taller than the average gardener, rising to 4 to 6 feet tall and providing bright green evergreen foliage all year long. If your ferns are exceptionally large, or have outgrown their pots, Fall is the perfect time for dividing and replanting. Before planting, take the time to work in some compost and peat moss. Planting Potted Plants: Choose a location in full to part shade, with moist, slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. If you want a plant to take over a wet woodland space, choose ostrich fern (Matteuccia … Then, in his Dry Garden, which has very poor soil, he plants the common polypody, Polypodium vulgare, with the crispy hart’s tongue fern Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Marginatum’. Polypodium vulgare. Tropical Ferns are splendid garden plants where nighttime temperatures are above 60°F, and they make excellent houseplants as well. Just dig a hole that is more or less the same size of the fern pot and plant the fern in the hole so that the plant sits just above (approximately 1 to 2 inches) the ground level. Another great outdoor fern that accepts cooler winters is the lush and lovely sword fern (Polystichum munitum). Hardy ferns come in many diverse forms, leaf shapes and textures - some are statuesque, some are wonderfully architectural and a few provide useful mats of groundcover where other plants struggle. This also holds down the weeds and regulates the temperature of the soil, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. Taller species are appealing at the back of a border and can be attractive stand-alone specimens. Fall: Cut foliage back to soil level when it dies back after a heavy frost. Enrich your soil with organic compost. Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible. Propagating Ferns From Spores Fill a flat or another container with sterile, moistened potting mix designed for ferns. One way to build organic material into your fern garden is to top the soil over your ferns with organic mulch, like compost or chopped dried leaves. The key to keeping ferns happy outdoors is taking care to match a species of fern to your hardiness zone and growing conditions. 1. Cloudflare Ray ID: 600fa1cf9eb11964 The soil should be rich, well-drained, and acidic. 1. Place your fern in an area that gets indirect light. A soil mixture for ferns must hold adequate moisture, contain a high proportion of organic matter such as peat, leaf mold, ground sphagnum moss, and be well aerated so it will drain very well and air can move through the soil. Dig down into the soil, pay attention to trees growing nearby, look at drainage patterns from nearby sidewalks or slopes, and so on. Some ferns can tolerate poor drainage,... Watering. Types of Hardy Garden Ferns. Homeowners enjoy displaying common fern houseplants indoors, like Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) or maidenhead fern (Adiantum spp). In mild climates that don't experience frost, you can plant ferns outdoors year-round. Dig a planting hole in the soil that is the same depth as and 1 1/2 times the width of the nursery container. For example, the lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina) with its finely cut fronds is native to Illinois and thrives in U.S.Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, according to the Morton Arboretum. Shorter selections in mass plantings make great ground covers. Well-draining soil is a must. Soil. Many people keep ferns indoors as houseplants, but these plants can also be excellent additions to shady garden beds. Mix organic matter or compost in the hole before planting and cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Ferns are among the oldest plants on earth, appearing in the fossil record more than 350 million years ago. Well-draining soil is required to prevent the plants from being in standing water, but otherwise, it is tolerant of most soil types. Pot up individually into peat-substitute based compost at the same level at which it was growing. To grow outdoor ferns in pots or in the garden, you'll want to be sure to meet their cultural requirements. These plants thrive in well-drained, moist soil. In northern areas, the plants will tolerate sun if the soil stays moist. Southern maidenhair fern – Southern maidenhair fern is a hardy spreading plant that will survive in a wider range of soil conditions, including rocks ... Lady fern – Lady fern is drought tolerant, grows up to 3 feet (.9 m.), and has a beautiful upright habit. Ferns appreciate porous, organic soil. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Aged compost mix and aged manure mix are also good soil building additions. Resurrection ferns are popular landscape plants in the southern parts of the US. A plastic pot retains moisture better than a clay … Foxtail fern isn’t too picky when it comes to soil. Ceterach officinarum. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. If your garden soil is poor, dig in a few inches of leaf mulch, compost or finely chopped bark. For a smaller fern to add to a shady fern garden, consider the Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), hardy down to USDA zone 3. Whether you are planting in the ground or in a container, when planting a soft tree fern, dig a hole in the soil that’s double the size of the root ball of the plant. How to Plant the Tree Fern. To reduce water loss, apply a 1- to 3-inch thick mulch of fine bark or decomposed leaves. Known as the autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora is an unusual fern with red … Ferns also need soil that is both moist and well-drained. When the ground freezes, mulch to protect plants from heaving out of the soil in winter. Put the right fern in the right place, and it will reward you with vibrant foliage where other plants might fail. Adiantum pedatum. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. Ensure that the soil has good amount of moisture content but continually damp or wet. There are evergreen and deciduous types, hardy ferns for damp soils and some for dry soils such as those found under trees. Mix into the soil some organic compost and plant the Boston fern at the same depth it was planted in the container. Heavy clay soils are not hospitable unless amended with compost. 4. Check the pH of the soil in the planting area and match the plant to the growing conditions. Plant lady ferns in full to part shade, and give young plants plenty of room to reach full size, which is 24-30” tall and 18-24” wide. Planting the ferns is simple. It's a good idea to know the moisture needs of specific types of perennial you intend to grow. The best way to prepare the soil for ferns is to add Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Garden Soil to the planting area. • Soil & Transplanting. Even fern varieties that become drought tolerant as they mature usually require moist soil at planting time. Fertilizer. If you are considering growing a fern plant outdoors, you need to pick a plant that matches your climate. Mix in between five and 10 gallons of compost to the soil and mix it together. Hardy ferns. Ostrich Fern. The Best Soil for Ferns Organic Soil. • Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Lady ferns are an excellent ground cover and good companions for other shade loving perennials. Growing Medium. Most perennial ferns will grow well in in average moist well-drained soils. Before planting, take the time to work in compost and peat moss. Some ferns are at home only in very warm areas and won't live through chilly winters. Planting too deep will result in the sections rotting 3. Further north in zones 6 and 7, they will go dormant during the winter and start growing again in the spring. What to Do With Outdoor Fern Plants in Winter. Shake the spores off the paper... Mist the surface of the potting mix, to moisten the spores and keep them in place. As with so many other types of perennial plants, most perennial ferns do not like a constantly wet soil. If you’re planting your Boston fern outdoors, select a site that is in partial shade and has moist but well-draining soil. But ferns also provide a frilly texture to shaded garden beds where few other plants thrive. Staghorn Ferns are epiphytes, meaning that they do not naturally grow in soil but instead use their roots to anchor themselves to host trees. Soil: Ferns sink their thirsty roots into deep, friable soil rich in organic matter. Get the fern started indoors, especially if you live in an area with unreliable weather for your particular breed of fern. Fine Gardening recommends an autumn mulch of 3 or 4 inches of finely chopped, dried leaves to build up a layer of leaf mold. Find a shady spot in your yard with a tree or a rock for your fern to grow on. 3. Ghost Athyrium require organic matter to grow and it’s recommended to use compost/mulch as fertilizer, especially if you’re growing the ferns in the sand. Famous for its almost straight, evenly symmetrical ... 2. If the soil is too heavy, work compost or peat moss into the top 10 or 15 inches before planting. Fill the bottom of your container with a high quality potting mix and place the divided fern in … Staghorn Ferns are epiphytes, meaning that they do not naturally grow in soil but instead use their roots … It thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. 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