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Small Ferns

Small perennial ferns add charm to a landscape primarily through the frilly, intricate patterns created by their fronds

These deeply indented leaf structures make them beautiful as either a focal point in the garden or as a background plant. Their lace-like appearance and shade tolerance make them indispensable as the following examples demonstrate.

 New York Ferns

 Some ferns like the New York Fern have the amazing quality of being evergreen. It’ll grace the garden with its lacy presence in both summer and winter when most other plants have faded out of sight. Throughout most of the year, this yellow-green fern consists of fronds with a basic oval shape that tapers towards both the top and bottom. With no more than 1 or 2 feet of height and a frond width of 4 inches, it definitely belongs in the small fern category. The individual fronds sprout directly from the rootstock. The New York Fern prefers moist soil that’s a bit on the acidic side. Thriving in full to partial shade, it can also tolerate cold down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Hay Scented Fern

  As the name indicates, this fern releases the fragrance of fresh-cut hay when its stalks are cut or crushed. The benefits don’t end there, though, as Hay Scented Ferns also produce spectacular fronds between 1 and 3 feet high that stretch up to a foot wide at the center. Even better, the individual leaflets are smothered with deeply grooved subleaflets that resemble oak leaves. Lower leaflets on the fronds are just a little shorter than the center ones. Once planted in modestly moist and acidic ground, Hay Scented Ferns won’t be alone for long as they produce new plants from rhizomes to create thick colonies. The ferns don’t mind soil that’s a little dry if they’re planted in shade. They also handle cold down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Bracken Fern

   Bracken ferns are world travelers. There’s a species of this fern native to North America, Europe, and Asia. The name itself comes from an Old English word for fern, so the whole name translates to fern fern. The fronds of Bracken ferns grow up to 3 feet high and range from light to dark green. They have an elongated, triangular shape. Their leaflets hold smooth, oblong subleaflets. Usually, 3 fronds extend horizontally from a single stalk. Like most other ferns, this one prefers moderate acidity and moisture along with a light amount of nutrients. Among ferns, this is considered the most drought-tolerant around. It also forms colonies very quickly through rhizomes. Heading into Fall, Bracken ferns change from green to yellow. When winter arrives, these ferns endure temperatures as frigid as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Bracken Fern - TN Nursery

Bracken Fern

Bracken Fern, or Pteridium aquilinum, is a captivating and ubiquitous fern species that thrives in a wide range of habitats across the globe. This perennial plant, which belongs to the Dennstaedtiaceae family, is a prime example of nature's adaptability and resilience.; Enhance the Look of Your Home With Bracken Fern Brown stems covered with silvery gray hair are characteristic of them. Their typical flowering time is in early spring. Their compound leaves are two or three times as numerous as their triangular leaves. These leaves can be anywhere from two to four feet long and up to three feet in width. An intricate whorl of three leaves forms at the very base of the stem. Starting in the middle to the end of June and continuing into late summer, spores begin to grow on the underside of the leaves. After the first heavy frost in the spring, the fronds will begin to grow again. By the end of summer, the fronds begin to change color, going from brown to a beautiful copper or gold that complements any vivid fall foliage. Add Natural Habitats for Animals  The thick canopies they create keep the soil wet, which in turn creates a humid microclimate that's home to many different kinds of plants and animals. They are also an important part of the habitat's biodiversity since they provide a food source for some animals, like rabbits. They are perfect for building nests because they have plenty of fibrous fronds, which many birds and small animals use for this purpose. Create Beautiful Edges and Borders With Native Fern Plants They provide a gentle and realistic border that goes well with garden settings. They are great for adding winter beauty to garden borders because of their evergreen leaves. For garden borders in regions prone to deer, they are a good option since they are usually resistant to deer grazing. Make Your Soil Healthier With TN Nursery By decomposing leaf litter, bracken ferns improve soil structure, increase microbial activity, and supply organic matter to the soil. This makes the soil healthier. The fibrous roots of these plants improve drainage and lessen soil compaction by aerating the soil. They also help with nutrient cycling by absorbing and releasing nutrients, which stabilizes soil and prevents erosion.

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