Gardening Tips

How to grow fern in your garden

October 24, 2011

How to grow fern in your garden

Ferns are very ancient type of plants and belong to the family of Pteridophytes. They are leafy, non-flowering plants and generally grow in very moist areas. Ferns are very well adapted to specific environmental conditions. The plants have horizontal sometimes underground stem or rhizome. These stems or rhizomes are actually the food reserves, from which the leaves and roots arise. Ferns are a great choice for people who love indoor and outdoor gardening. They make a lovely and beautiful addition to any garden. Most of the fern species are easy to grow. Some species love to grow in sunlight; some prefer shady spaces and some like plenty of water in hot conditions.

A lot many hardy species grow in garden and some can grow indoors. Ferns are available in varieties like climbing, ground cover and tree ferns. They generally grow in heavy soil with lots of humus. In some ferns, leaf mulch and moist condition also acts as another factor for their growth. Planting a variety of ferns in your garden will not only give a fresh and beautiful look but also give you an idea about how each fern grows.

Things you’ll need

1. Fern plants like royal fern, deer fern, maidenhair fern etc

2. Organic mulch

3. Dried leaves

4. Shovel

5. Roto tiller

6. Decorative stones and pebbles

7. Compost

Steps included

1. Visit any local nursery and purchase the fern plants. Check with the local nursery fellow about the type of soil required for each type of ferns because lime loving ferns cannot grow in soil with acidic pH and vice versa. While buying, check the fern plant pots for any diseases.

2. Identify the area in your garden where you want to grow the ferns. The place should have indirect sunlight and free from strong wind. Sunburn and air dryness can destroy the ferns. Drainage is also equally important for growing ferns. Shade is essential for plants during summer. Ferns love high humidity. If you belong to cooler areas, then you can plant your ferns near or under deciduous trees. The winter leaf fall allows keeping the ferns warmer during cold weather conditions.

3. Ferns love to grow in colonies like in forests. The soil of that area needs to be rich in humus, loose in nature and well drained. If you do not have such kind of soil then prepare the soil before proceeding with the planting. Dig the soil in the planting area with a roto tiller. You should dig it between 9 and 12 inches. Next, add a layer of compost mixed with some bone meal of about 3 inches in thickness.

4. Start placing each fern into the soil. Keep some gap between each variety. The fern should be planted deep enough so that the crown levels with the soil. Water the plant well.

5. Spread peat moss, some dried leaves (collect from your garden) or any organic mulch. This should be spread around all of the fern plants to help to retain moisture and controlling the weeds.

6. You can do some landscaping while planting your ferns. In the middle plant the large varieties and keep the smaller and medium ones to the exterior side. If you add some more looks to the garden then place some decorative pebbles and stores around the outer area and include some wild variety flower plants in between the ferns. But remember to keep space around each plant.

7. After you are done with planting, check the ground for its dampness once in around two to three days period. Add some nutrients or fertilizers once in every year. Mulching should be done regularly. Keep the plant free of weeds and always check for any disease.

8. Ferns require very low maintenance. Once in a week, trim off any dead or dying leaves. You can use garden sprinklers for watering, as they keep the air cool in hot weather.

Useful tips

1. Do not pull dead leaves. Trim them off.

2. Do not use a rake because the roots of ferns are very delicate and close to the surface.

3. Water three or more times in a week if the weather is very dry.

4. When buying ferns in pots, check carefully for pests or any sign of disease.

5. Do regular mulching.

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