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5 Hardy Native Fern Plants

Hardy Native Ferns

Native Ferns

Native ferns are bio-indicators, clean the environment, and are a low-maintenance and long-lasting shade addition that can add greenery and beauty without any maintenance needed... Native ferns have been growing for thousands of years, making them the perfect choices for any part of your environment.

In this article, we'll dive into five hardy native plants that easily fit into any corner of your yard or garden – a true testament to their tolerance for different climates and conditions! Let's get started!

Hay scented ferns

It is known as the fragrant Hay Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) is a yellowish-green plant with feathery fronds that emit the scent of hay that has been crushed in the late summer. Hay-scented Ferns are found in meadows and open spaces in the canopy of trees throughout the Adirondacks and change to a golden yellow in autumn.

Hay-scented Ferns do not have a lot of applications in medicine. However, some indigenous American groups utilized the plant to treat various illnesses. The Cherokee utilized an infusion of a compound to treat chills. The Mahuna utilized the Fern for hemorrhages in the lungs.

The Fern with a scent of hay thrives best in the shade between whole and part shade and moist, organically rich soil. It is a plant that can be adapted and is also tolerant of rocky, weak, and dry soil after it is established. The Fern is spread vigorously through the rhizomes, which form dense colonies.

Plant a hay-scented fern in the springtime. After planting, water the plants thoroughly and keep doing it each week for the first season.
Christmas ferns

The Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) isn't only an ideal evergreen that adds color to the holiday season. The dense dark green fronds sparkle all year round with very little maintenance, provided it's in the perfect cool, moist and shady environment.

Silvery-green fronds that are tightly coiled unfold in springtime and grow in colonies of rhizome-spreading clumps that work great as borders or accent plants. They are an excellent match for perennial wildflowers and other ferns that love the shade and don't care about the type of soil, which makes them perfect for gardens in the woodland or cottage. They can also be placed in groups on slopes to aid soil erosion.

While they remain green during winter, The fronds lose the upright and arching appearance and lay down flatly on the earth. If they're not covered with snow, they can provide an excellent shelter for birds who visit your garden, and they're a big fan of nest-building fronds.

This evergreen, clump-forming plant is an excellent specimen plant, a border plant. Dark green, lightly shiny fronds look great with the foliage of other perennials that love the shade. Heavy snowfall can flatten fronds; however, they are evergreen.

New York ferns

Ferns are a classic shade plant that is perfect for places in the landscape where the other plant species do not thrive. Planting New York ferns is a good option because they are simple to keep in check, return every year, and grow to fill up spaces. They produce trailing rhizomes, which assist in the growth of new fronds, which means you will get an increase in the number of fronds each year.

New York fern care is undoubtedly a little work, but they will flourish provided you offer them the proper conditions. They require at least a little shade and prefer acidic soil. They can tolerate dry conditions; however, they only require a little irrigation once established. Plant them in a shaded woodland area, a marshy area, or near a stream to get the most optimal outcomes.

Native New York Fern is widely scattered and scarce in Illinois (see the Distribution Map). This Fern is classified as endangered by the state and endangered, but it is found more frequently in the areas farther to the east.

Habitats include moist forests, downland sandy woodlands, sandstone cliffs that are shaded and low areas that run with streams that flow through woodlands with shaded seeps and springs in ravines and hillsides, and swamps. In Illinois, the Fern can be located in habitats of high quality in which the original flora of the ground remains intact.
Maidenhair ferns

Maidenhair ferns feature delicate leaf segments with a fan shape, typically on black, wiry stems. Their leaves are shorter than other fern species. Apart from being a highly sought-after houseplant of ferns, The maidenhair fern is also discovered in the natural world, growing in areas that most other plants don't, such as on rocks and between fractures in the rock in which the water seepage is what keeps the ferns alive.

While they're visually stunning at all stages of their growth, they're considered a fern with slow growth, lasting up to three years to reach mature size.

The art of growing maidenhair ferns in your garden or indoors is easy. The plant is usually found in full to partial shade and likes moist, well-drained soil that has been amended by organic matter, as its natural environment in humus-rich forests.

The ferns don't like dry soil. They thrive best in slightly acidic soils; Maidenhair ferns prefer soil with a higher alkaline pH. Add some crushed limestone to the potting soil for containers and mix it with your garden gardens, which can help in this.

The care of ferns with maidenhair is a little work. While they must be kept dry as part of maintenance, it is essential to be cautious not to drown the plant. This could lead to root and stem mold. However, do not let the hair dry out, either. If it gets dry, take your time to toss it into the trash. Soak it in water for a while, and the maidenhair fern will grow new leaves.
Ostrich ferns

Ostrich ferns can be stunning plants that can cover up areas not covered by a garden. They are immune to typical garden troubles and are simple to maintain. It is possible to enjoy a beautiful, lively garden, with gorgeous leaf elements, with very little maintenance.

More textural than vibrant Ostrich ferns produce enormous fronds of bright green leaves. As they emerge in spring, their distinctive fiddleheads are likely among garden plants' most widespread plant species. As with others in the fern family, the unique characteristic of ostrich ferns can differentiate between fertile and infertile frosts. The sterile fronds are what the majority of people initially envision due to their massive green, vibrant leaves.

Like other ferns and ferns, Ostrich ferns are a favorite of moist soil. It is best to plant them in rich organic soil that's acidic. Maintaining them in a consistent state of being nearly wet will result in abundant growth. Beware of letting the Fern get dry, which results in the drying and browning of leaves. Dry soil can also lead to slow growth, which is smaller.

Ostrich ferns like shady areas. They are more resilient than others; they can withstand an adequate amount of sun so long as they don't dry out. The more sunlight they're exposed to, the more moisture they need. In warmer climates, any more than a bit of sun could result in foliage burning and further water needs. Ostrich ferns generally prefer cooler climates but struggle with warm climates of southern Europe.

Native Ferns Helps Clean The Environment

Hay Scented Fern

Hay Scented Fern

The Hay-Scented Fern is a  deciduous fern known for its delicate, finely divided fronds and a distinctive fragrance reminiscent of freshly mown hay when crushed, commonly found in woodland areas. It  is a versatile and attractive plant with numerous landscaping benefits. This deciduous fern is native to North America and can be valuable to garden designs, incorporating texture, ground cover, and visual interest. One of the primary benefits of using this fern in landscaping is its elegant and feathery foliage. The Hay Scent Fern's delicate fronds create a lush and graceful appearance that adds a sense of movement and softness to garden beds and shaded areas. Its vibrant green color and finely cut leaves contribute to the fern's overall aesthetic appeal, making it an excellent choice for creating visual contrasts and texture within the landscape. Moreover, it is well-suited for shaded and woodland gardens. It thrives in areas with limited sunlight, making it a valuable addition to spaces that are often challenging to cultivate. Hay-scented fern can form dense colonies that create a carpet-like ground cover, providing a natural and organic look to the landscape. Additionally, this fern is a low-maintenance plant. Once established, it requires minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners seeking easy-to-maintain options. Its spreading growth habit helps suppress weed growth, reducing the need for constant weeding in garden beds. It also plays a role in soil conservation. Its extensive root system helps stabilize soil on slopes, preventing erosion and contributing to the landscape's overall health. This erosion control capability can make it a valuable addition to projects where soil stability is a concern. Combined with other shade-loving plants, they can create a layered and multi-textured effect, adding depth and visual interest to the garden. Its adaptability and resilience to various soil conditions make it versatile for formal and naturalistic landscapes. In conclusion, the hay-scented fern offers a range of benefits when used in landscaping. Its elegant foliage, adaptability to shaded areas, low-maintenance requirements, soil conservation capabilities, and potential for creating textured garden designs make it a valuable addition to various outdoor spaces. Whether used as a ground cover, in woodland gardens or to enhance the aesthetic of shaded areas, this fern contributes to the beauty and functionality of the landscape. Order your Hay Scented Fern from TN Nursery today! The Hay-Scented Fern, scientifically known as Dennstaedtia punctilobula, is a graceful and intriguing fern species native to North America. This perennial plant belongs to the Dennstaedtiaceae family and can be found in various forested habitats across the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Its distinct characteristics and ecological role make it a fascinating subject of study and appreciation.  One of the most striking features of it is its delicate appearance. The fronds of this fern are finely divided and feathery, creating a lacy, airy effect. They can grow three feet tall, forming dense clusters that carpet the forest floor. These fronds are light green and can have a slightly glossy surface, adding to their allure.  One of the most intriguing aspects of this fern is its scent, reminiscent of freshly cut hay, hence the name "Hay-Scented Fern." When the fronds are crushed or brushed against, they release a pleasant fragrance that adds to the sensory experience of encountering this plant in the wild. This unique scent results from volatile oils present in the fronds, making it stand out among other fern species.  This fern is a remarkable species that plays a crucial part in the healthiness and sustainability of forest ecosystems. It forms dense colonies that create a thick ground cover, providing a haven for various woodland creatures. These colonies also help protect the forest floor from the harmful effects of soil erosion, particularly on slopes with high risk. The fern's lush growth adds to the forest's beauty and is critical to the ecosystem's overall health by contributing to nutrient cycling and soil quality. It is truly a remarkable and valuable plant that deserves recognition and protection.  Overall, the Hay-Scented Fern is a captivating and versatile plant that adds beauty and fragrance to the forest understory while playing a crucial role in its ecosystem. Its delicate fronds, distinctive scent, and ecological impact make it a noteworthy fern species in North America's rich natural landscape. 

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