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Environmental Benefits of Native Ferns

How Do Ferns Benefit the Environment?

Ferns are remarkable plants. They have several benefits for the environment. Depending on where you live, there could be native ferns growing in your backyard!

In this post, we'll discuss some of the different fern varieties, including how this excellent plant can benefit the environment around us.                                                                                                                                                       

Different Types of Ferns

With approximately 380 species of ferns in North America alone, chances are you've seen this plant. Whether strolling around town or on a camping trip, coming across a fern is common.

Keep reading to learn about the different varieties of this incredible plant.

Christmas Ferns

These ferns get their name because they stay green straight through Christmas. They measure 1-2 feet in length and feature glossy, leather-like leaves.

Hay Scented Ferns

Hey scented ferns also grow about 2 feet fall while extending 3 to 4 feet in width. While the plant usually appears bright green, it gives off a yellowish hue in the fall months. Many people decide to grow hay-scented ferns because they naturally repel deer.

Ostrich Ferns

Ostrich ferns are a taller variety of plants, growing to a length of 3 to 6 feet. They look much different than the ferns listed above, featuring vase-shaped crowns. Ostrich ferns get their name from arching fronds resembling a bird's tail feathers.

Fern's Benefits On the Environment

While some native ferns can keep away deer and add beauty to your property, they offer several advantages to the environment.

Take a look at these environmental benefits below:

Natural Water Filter

One of the leading natural purposes of ferns is to filter water. It is made possible by their extensive and lengthy rooting systems. Ferns grow in various environments, making them very tolerant plants. They can grow in the bright sun or dark shade.

From cave systems to mountain peaks, ferns help to filter water and keep the soil healthy.

Great Shelter and Resting Place

Several different insects and amphibians choose ferns as a place of rest. In addition, they can also provide shelter from predators. These locations are often relaxed, comfortable, and out of harm's way.

Ferns are typically found scattered on the forest floor, so they're the perfect location for wildlife. Not only can insects, birds, and amphibians find a place to rest in ferns, but they're also a great place to escape the bright sun.

Provides Resources for Wildlife

While several critters enjoy using ferns for shelter and rest, some utilize them for food and nest building. Songbirds will collect the fuzz on the stems for lining their nests. Also, some species of leaf miners eat part of the plant, and spiders roll up the frond tips to make a safe place for laying eggs and raising their young.

Heals Contaminated Environments

One of the most outstanding qualities of native ferns involves their ability to filter out contaminants. Ferns can help keep the soil healthy and protected if a threat is present. Ferns can even uptake heavy metals from the soil. This natural healing process helps to keep the forest healthy and free of disease.

While ferns are beautiful, they also offer several advantages to the environment. From providing shelter for wildlife to healing contaminated forests, ferns help our world flourish.
Christmas Fern - TN Nursery

Christmas Fern

Christmas ferns are known for their evergreen fronds that stay green throughout the winter, making them a popular choice for holiday decorations. An evergreen fern that offers numerous landscaping benefits. Its elegant appearance, resilience, and adaptability make it a favorite choice for professional landscapers and homeowners alike. One of the key advantages of incorporating it into landscaping is its aesthetic appeal. Add Year-Round Cover With Christmas Fern The fronds of Christmas ferns are distinctive for their lustrous, dark green coloration. The crownless rootstock produces clusters of fronds that can be anywhere from one to two feet in length. Wintertime sees the delicate, light-green leaves changing color from green to golden. They are great for covering uneven terrain since they spread slowly from dormant rhizomes and develop in clusters. Add Vibrant Colors During the Winter With Christmas Ferns They keep their greenery throughout the year so they can start photosynthesis earlier. The presence of chlorophyll indicates the photosynthesis process is underway, as the color green indicates. These plants do not flower. They are spore-borne rather than gametophytic. They do boast verdant foliage from April to the first frost; these silvery green baby fronds, known as fiddleheads, emerge in the early spring as new leaves. Protect the Yard From Soil Erosion With Christmas Fern When they are in full bloom in winter, they press down on fallen leaves to hasten their decomposition and provide nutrients to the soil. This goes a long way in protecting the yard against soil erosion. Another way these plants stop soil erosion is by using their root systems to bind the soil together. Plus, when planted firmly in the ground, they create thick barriers made of stems that reduce the rate at which water flows through them. Create Natural Landscapes and Habitats With a Christmas Fern A lot of people like to plant it in their yards because of the texture and foliage they provide. They do a great job at creating natural-looking landscapes. The fact that they are hardy enough to survive light snowfall and cold makes them perfect for winter gardening. They can also handle a large range of soil types and flourish in partly shady or entirely shaded locations. Birds, insects, and even small mammals may find food and refuge under them. The dense vegetation provides great cover for ground-dwelling species. The plants conceal prey from predators by shading other animals and invertebrates that feed on the ground.

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