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The 5 Best Heat-Tolerant Ferns

A bright green Royal fern from TN Tree and Plant Nursery

The fern fronds are whimsical, making them an excellent plant to fill in the spaces around your home. The fern plants look stunning as ground covers or an ornamental focal point in the garden. 

You've probably seen native ferns grow in the forests' organic matter. There are various ferns, including Wood fern (Dryopteris) and Polypodium. Ferns are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and they can spread out over empty spaces in the yard in a snap.

Many ferns thrive in the shade due to the soil's richness which remains moist longer than in the sun. Ferns are often considered plants that prefer shade. However, many sun-loving ferns thrive in gardens flooded with sunlight. The key is to supply them with moist soil to keep them from drying out. 

Here are 5 fern types that will happily live in sunny areas of your garden:

1. Royal Fern

Osmunda Regalis is among the most water-loving shade perennials. It is a considerable size and is adorned with gorgeous green leaves. It is a fan of semi-shaded areas and can be found amid trees, shrubs, or tall plants. It is best suited for USDA zones 3-8. 

Royal fern is native to North American wetlands and bogs across the Canadian border to northern Florida. 

The Royal fern is a tough ornamental plant tolerant of temperatures, cold, light flooding, heat and droughts. Royal ferns are impressive at maturity, between three and six feet tall and up to eight feet wide. They feature substantial broad, feather-shaped fringes that have a vibrant deep green. The fronds have two rows of smaller, oval leaves with gently rounded edges. The ferns usually develop upright. 

However, they can slide down or be bent over due to the fronds' stress as they age. The Royal fern reproduces by the spore-bearing structure located on the fronds' bottom. They don't require you to fertilize them to help them multiply. Royal ferns like moist, shaded regions. They are tolerant of specific sunshine, but they prefer filtered or dappled sunlight. They thrive in wetlands, bogs, gardens, or near streams or ponds.

2. Bracken Fern

Pteridium Aquilinum is a substantial evergreen fern, an indigenous species in many regions of the globe, including Europe, Asia, and North America. They're a stunning shade of green that will bring life to any shaded space. They are thriving in USDA zones 3 through 11. 

Bracken ferns are found in meadows, woodlands, and other grassy places. They thrive with little to no maintenance and require a shaded spot with a thick, woody, organic material similar to what is found in its native forests and damp but not excessively moist soil. Bracken fern reproduces without the need for care. It reproduces through tiny spores, like dust-like structures that separate from the underside of fronds. 

The wind takes them to the nearby areas where they germinate and grow in new species. It is the reason this fern is such an extremely popular groundcover. It is famous for its vast, triangular leaves at least three feet high. 

Various tiny leaflets in feathery patterns make up the stunning bright green frosts. The fronds typically measure 2 to 3 feet long and between one and two feet wide. The stem of the bracken fern is usually black or dark brown and could be slightly smooth or ridged. The roots of this plant may also be quite large. The Bracken Fern is an incredibly distinctive plant that can discern its presence in the wild due to its triangular fronds resembling a shuttlecock's shape. 

3. Maidenhair Fern

Adiantum Pedatum is a sturdy perennial that can make an impressive appearance in the shade of the garden or natural wooded area. It is a fan of the sun, filtered approximately six hours daily. It is adjusted to USDA zones of hardiness for plants 3-8. Maidenhair fern is a stunning species native to two continents: North America in the United States and Canada and Asia in the Himalayan region. 

This fern is low-maintenance and easy-growing which makes it the most sought-after shade plant, perfect for shaded border rocks and slopes of ponds. 

The Maidenhair fern is also great to plant on sloped hills since they're much easier to cultivate than grass. The appearance of Maidenhair ferns could be deceiving. They have small and fan-shaped leaflets made of a single frond creating an appearance similar to hair. 

Leaflets have a vibrant spring green color, with contrasts from the darker veins. Although it has a delicate appearance, these ferns are hardy. They're resistant to cold, disease, and insects. 

The Maidenhair ferns require little care and all they need is a semi-shaded space and fertile soil. Adding mulch made of hardwood and earthworm castings will help retain moisture and give your ferns great nutritional support.

4. Cinnamon Fern 

An Eastern North American native, Osmunda Cinnamomea is a perennial fern. With its stunning greenery and low maintenance, this plant is an excellent choice. It thrives in USDA zones 4 to 9 in a semi-to-full shade-growing setting.

They are great as ground cover for flower beds, as an accent plant, for foundation plantings, or for ornamental species. The common name comes due to the color of its reddish-brown fronds, which look like cinnamon sticks in form and color. It has enormous feathery fronds that can reach as high as four feet. 

The fronds of the Cinnamon fern consist of various small leaflets, forming an ethereal pattern. The leaflets typically are bright green and shiny. The stems of the Cinnamon fern can be light brown or rusty and are sometimes slightly smooth or ridged. The roots are robust and can easily support the massive fronds. They are durable, resistant to insects and diseases, and do well in extreme weather.

5. Ostrich fern

Matteuccia Struthiopteris is a massive and dazzling perennial fern with beautiful, plume-like fronds that will surely draw the attention of admirers. They are fans of a moist and part shade area within USDA zones 3 through 7. The Ostrich fern is a gorgeous ornamental plant that looks stylish in any garden setting. It's ideal near the rear of a garden border, in natural areas near water features, or in any partially shaded space. 

Ostrich fern gets its name because of its springtime appearance. As new growth begins to emerge in the springtime, the newly formed fronds are covered in an orange-colored fuzzy covering called the “crown”. The Ostrich fern gets its name from the open plumes that resemble ostrich feathers. Matteuccia Struthiopteris is also distinct in size, as it can grow to 3 to 6 feet high, and the beautiful green fronds develop a distinctive feathery appearance.

Maintaining and planting an ostrich fern can be simple. The important thing is to place it within a shaded spot because it needs indirect light, not sunlight. It will adjust to the early morning sun, but it will not tolerate the afternoon sunlight. It prefers fertile, moist soil that has rapid and efficient drainage, so its roots don’t sit in water for too long.

Selecting the right ferns for your garden means considering a few factors, including heat tolerance, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. The five fern varieties mentioned in this article offer a range of options suitable for different garden spaces. From the impressive size and water-loving nature of the Royal Fern to the low-maintenance characteristics of the Bracken Fern, each type brings its unique features. Whether used as ground covers, ornamental focal points, or accents in shaded areas, these ferns contribute to the beauty and vibrancy of any garden space. 

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Royal Fern

Royal Fern

The Royal Fern is a Large, striking fern with feathery fronds and a distinctive crown of fertile fronds, typically found in wetland habitats and appreciated for their ornamental appeal in gardens. They are a majestic and captivating plant with numerous landscaping benefits. With its distinctive appearance and unique characteristics, this fern adds a touch of elegance and natural charm to outdoor spaces. Its aesthetic and practical qualities make it popular among landscape designers and homeowners. One of the key benefits of incorporating it into landscaping is its ability to thrive in various environments. Whether placed near water features, in shaded areas, or as part of woodland gardens, this fern can adapt to different growing conditions, adding versatility to landscape designs. Its lush green fronds, which can reach impressive heights, create a sense of verticality, adding visual interest and dimension to the overall landscape. The architectural beauty of it is another notable advantage. Royal Fern's symmetrical and graceful fronds unfurl uniquely, resembling the appearance of a regal crown. This distinctive growth pattern makes the fern an eye-catching focal point that effortlessly draws attention. Whether used as standalone specimens or grouped with other plants, it brings a sense of sophistication to outdoor spaces. Furthermore, it contributes to environmental sustainability. Their dense foliage provides shade and shelter for small wildlife, offering a habitat for birds, insects, and other creatures. The fern's extensive root system prevents soil erosion, making it a valuable addition to landscapes with slopes or near water bodies. By enhancing the area's ecological balance, they promote a healthier and more vibrant ecosystem. In summary, the Royal fern benefits in landscaping are manifold. Its adaptability, distinctive appearance, and positive impact on the environment make it an excellent choice for creating captivating outdoor settings. Whether used as a focal point, as part of a lush backdrop, or for its environmental contributions, it adds a touch of timeless elegance and natural allure to any landscape design. Buy your Royal Fern from TN Nursery! The Royal Fern, scientifically known as Osmunda regalis, is a majestic and enchanting plant with its graceful presence and unique characteristics. This ancient fern species, native to Europe, Asia, and North America, is renowned for its regal appearance and fascinating role in folklore and horticulture.  Standing tall and proud, the Royal Fern can reach heights of up to six feet, making it one of the most towering ferns in the world. Its striking fronds are a sight to behold, with a deep green hue and a feathery appearance that adds elegance to any landscape. These fronds, which can span up to six feet in length, are composed of numerous leaflets that branch out gracefully, resembling the plumes of a peacock.  One of the most captivating features of it is its reproductive strategy. Unlike many other ferns that rely on spores for reproduction, it reproduces through a unique method called vegetative propagation. It forms clusters of bulbils, small brown structures that develop at the tips of its fronds. These bulbils eventually fall to the ground and grow into new fern plants, ensuring their continued existence in their habitat.  Besides its botanical significance, it has a rich history in folklore and herbal medicine. It has been associated with magic and protection in various cultures, and its fronds were often used to decorate homes and gardens during festivals and celebrations.  When encountering it in its natural habitat, one can't help but be transported to a world of ancient forests and serene woodlands. Its towering presence and intricate fronds create a sense of wonder and awe, reminding us of the timeless beauty of the natural world.  In conclusion, the Royal Fern is a botanical treasure with a regal stature and a history steeped in myth and tradition. Its towering fronds and unique reproductive strategy make it a captivating addition to any natural landscape, stimulating a feeling of amazement and reverence for the wonders of the plant kingdom. 

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Bracken Fern

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.; Imagine a majestic fern that stands tall and proud, its fronds reaching up towards the sky. This fern is a true sight, often growing to heights of up to five feet. Its unusual build sets it apart from other ferns, with intricate pinnate or bipinnate leaflets that adorn its triangular fronds. These fronds provide a lush, green canopy that dominates the forest understory, creating an enchanting and mysterious ambiance in woodlands and open spaces. The fern's delicate leaves sway gently in the breeze, making a soft rustling sound that echoes through the forest. It's a wonder of nature that grasps the fantasy and leaves a lasting impression on all who see it. The Bracken Fern is an upright lush, green ground cover type fern with expansive fronds that create a dense canopy that effectively suppresses weed growth, reducing the need for frequent and extensive maintenance. This quality makes it ideal for landscaping in rugged terrain or poor soil conditions where other plants may struggle to thrive. It can offer numerous benefits when incorporated into landscaping designs. This hardy and versatile plant possesses unique characteristics that make it a valuable addition to outdoor spaces, contributing to aesthetics and ecological balance. One of Bracken Fern's most intriguing features is its remarkable ability to colonize a diverse range of environments. It thrives in woodlands, moorlands, heathlands, and even disturbed areas like roadside embankments and clear-cut forests. Its adaptability to varying soil types and light conditions allows it to establish its presence across continents, from North America to Europe, Asia, and Australia. It possesses fronds that efficiently capture sunlight, providing energy for photosynthesis and supporting many herbivores, insects, and other wildlife. Moreover, its thick and lush cover creates a haven for various birds and small mammals, making it an ideal place for nesting and shelter. All of these features make it an essential contributor to the biodiversity of its surroundings.  Besides its ground cover capabilities, it adds texture and visual interest to landscapes. The fern's delicate fronds unfurl gracefully. This characteristic works well in formal and informal landscaping arrangements, adding depth and dimension to garden beds, woodland gardens, and shaded areas. Furthermore, the fern is a valuable habitat and food source for various wildlife species. It provides shelter and nesting sites for small animals and birds, promoting biodiversity in the ecosystem. Butterflies and other insects are also attracted to it, contributing to the overall ecological balance of the area. By incorporating bracken fern into landscaping, homeowners can create a harmonious environment that supports local wildlife populations. Bracken Fern boasts adaptability and resilience. It is a native plant in many regions, which means it is well-suited to local climates and requires minimal intervention once established. Its ability to succeed in different soil types and light conditions makes it a reliable choice for various landscaping projects, including erosion control on slopes and hillsides. In conclusion, the bracken fern offers several benefits in landscaping, ranging from its ability to provide a resilient and attractive ground cover to supporting local wildlife populations. By considering its suitability for specific areas and utilizing it responsibly, homeowners can harness its unique qualities it to create captivating and environmentally friendly outdoor spaces. Bracken Fern symbolizes nature's resilience, adaptability, and intricate role within ecosystems. Its striking appearance and widespread presence make it a captivating botanical marvel woven into the tapestry of our natural world. Order your Bracken Fern at TN Nursery

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Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair Fern

The Maidenhair Fern is a  delicate, deciduous fern with finely divided, fan-shaped fronds and distinctive black stems, adding an elegant touch to shaded gardens and moist woodlands.It is an aesthetically pleasing plant that offers a range of benefits when used in landscaping. Its unique characteristics and visual appeal make it famous for outdoor and indoor spaces. Maidenhair Fern has striking foliage with delicate, fan-shaped fronds. The frond creates a lush and vibrant atmosphere, adding texture and depth to gardens, pathways, and shaded areas. Its elegant appearance brings a touch of natural beauty to any landscape design. Another advantage of incorporating it into landscaping is its adaptability to various light conditions. This fern thrives in shaded or partially shaded environments, making it an excellent option for areas with limited sunlight. Its ability to flourish in low light conditions allows landscapers to create green spaces in regions that might otherwise be challenging to cultivate. It also contributes to improving air quality. Like other plants, it engages in photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and helping to purify the air. Its presence can contribute to a healthier and more refreshing outdoor environment, making it particularly valuable in urban landscapes where air pollution can be a concern. This fern's spreading growth habit also provides an attractive ground cover option. When planted in groups, it forms a dense carpet of lush green foliage, preventing soil erosion and inhibiting the growth of weeds. This not only enhances the visual appeal of the landscape but also supports its overall health and maintenance. Its association with water features, such as ponds or waterfalls, adds a touch of elegance and serenity to these areas. The delicate fronds gently sway in the breeze and create mesmerizing reflections in the water, enhancing the tranquil atmosphere. In conclusion, the maidenhair fern offers many benefits when used in landscaping. Whether incorporated in residential gardens, public parks, or commercial spaces, this fern brings beauty, functionality, and a touch of nature's grace to any landscape.  Order your Maidenhair Fern from TN Nursery today! Maidenhair Fern, or Adiantum, is a delicate and exquisite plant captivating with its ethereal beauty. This fern belongs to the Pteridaceae family and is renowned for its ornamental value, gracing gardens, indoor spaces, and shaded woodland areas with its graceful presence.  One of the most striking features of it is its distinct foliage. The fronds of this fern are made up of numerous delicate leaflets arranged in a feather-like pattern, giving it a feathery and lacy appearance. These leaflets are pinnate, meaning they are arranged along a central stem, resembling the structure of a delicate fan. The leaflets are typically a rich, vibrant green, offering a soothing and refreshing visual contrast to its surroundings.  They are often appreciated for their exceptional texture. The leaves are incredibly soft, adding a tactile element to their aesthetic charm. Their finely divided leaflets create an intricate and intricate tapestry that adds an enchanting dimension to any garden or indoor space.  In terms of size, they vary depending on the species and growing conditions. Some may stay petite and compact, making them ideal for terrariums or small spaces, while others can reach a more substantial size, creating an impressive focal point in shaded gardens.  Caring for Maidenhair Ferns requires a little extra attention compared to other ferns. They thrive in low to moderate light conditions, ideal for shaded areas or indoor spaces with filtered sunlight. These ferns also prefer consistently moist but well-draining soil. High humidity levels can promote plant growth. Mist or place them on a water tray with pebbles for best results.  Maidenhair Ferns are visually captivating and hold a sense of elegance and charm, making them a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. Their delicate beauty and intricate foliage add a touch of grace to any garden or interior space, making them a beloved addition for those seeking to bring a touch of nature's poetry into their lives.

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Cinnamon Fern

Cinnamon Fern

The Cinnamon Fern is a large type of deciduous fern characterized by its distinctive, cinnamon-colored fertile fronds standing upright in the plant's center.It is a captivating and versatile plant with numerous landscaping benefits. This fern, native to eastern North America, has become famous for gardeners and landscapers due to its aesthetic appeal, adaptability, and environmental contributions. One of the most significant benefits of using it in landscaping is its ornamental value. Its striking appearance adds a touch of elegance to any garden or landscape. Cinnamon Fern has tall fronds, which unfurl gracefully, resembling cinnamon sticks, hence the common name. The vibrant green color of the fronds contrasts beautifully with other plants, creating a visually appealing landscape. Whether used as a focal point or as part of a foliage backdrop, it enhances the overall aesthetics of the outdoor space. Moreover, it is well-known for its ability to thrive in various conditions. It can adapt to sunny and shaded areas, making it versatile for different landscape settings. This adaptability allows gardeners to include it in various landscaping designs, regardless of a particular location's specific light and soil conditions. Beyond its aesthetic appeal and adaptability, it also offers several environmental benefits. Incorporating it into landscaping can support biodiversity and help maintain a balanced ecosystem. Furthermore, it plays a role in soil conservation. Its fibrous root system helps stabilize soil, reducing erosion and improving water infiltration. This erosion control capability makes it a valuable addition to landscapes on slopes or near bodies of water. Another significant advantage of using it is its low maintenance requirements. Once established, it is relatively self-sufficient and does not demand extensive care, making it a practical choice for gardeners looking for low-maintenance landscaping options. In conclusion,the cinnamon fern is an excellent choice for landscaping projects due to its ornamental value, adaptability, and environmental contributions. Its aesthetic appeal and ability to thrive in diverse conditions make it a versatile addition to any garden or landscape. Beyond the visual aspects, it also supports the regional ecosystem by feeding habitat and food for wildlife while aiding in soil conservation. Its low maintenance requirements further enhance its attractiveness as a landscaping plant. With all these benefits combined, it proves to be a valuable asset to any landscaping endeavor. Get your Cinnamon Fern at TN Nursery today! The Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) is a striking and distinctive fern species in various moist and shaded environments across North America. This perennial plant belongs to the family Osmundaceae and is renowned for its unique appearance and ecological significance. Standing as a testament to the wonders of nature, the fern is a botanical marvel worthy of exploration and admiration.  The most remarkable feature of the Cinnamon Fern is its fronds, which emerge in early spring and can extend up to 5 feet long. These fronds are bipinnate, dividing them into smaller leaflets, creating an intricate and delicate appearance. What sets the Cinnamon Fern apart from other ferns is the distinct coloration of its fertile fronds. These fronds bear reproductive structures and are a warm, cinnamon-brown hue, hence the fern's common name. This cinnamon coloration contrasts the vibrant green of the sterile fronds, creating a captivating visual display in the woodland understory.  The fern thrives in moist, shaded habitats, often found along the edges of streams, wet woodlands, and damp meadows. Its preference for these environments makes it a valuable indicator of high-quality, undisturbed ecosystems. This fern is not only aesthetically pleasing but also ecologically important. It supplies habitat and nutrition for different wildlife species, including insects and amphibians, and contributes to soil stability and moisture retention.  Reproduction transpires through spore production. The fertile fronds release spores into the air, which, when dispersed, develop into new fern plants. This reproductive strategy is efficient and fascinating, adding to the fern's mystique.  In conclusion, the Cinnamon Fern is a botanical treasure that graces North American landscapes with its elegance and ecological significance. Its striking cinnamon-colored fertile fronds, intricate bipinnate leaves, and preference for moist, shaded habitats make it a captivating species to observe in the wild. This fern serves as a reminder of the intricate beauty and importance of nature's diversity.

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ostrich fern

Ostrich Fern

The Ostrich Fern is a large, deciduous fern with graceful, feathery fronds that resemble ostrich plumes, commonly found in moist woodland areas and prized for its ornamental value. It is a magnificent and beneficial plant with several advantages in landscaping projects. The Ostrich Fern is characterized by its large, feathery fronds resembling an ostrich's plumage.   One of the primary benefits of incorporating the fern into landscaping is its dramatic and striking appearance. The fronds can grow to several feet in height, creating an impressive and eye-catching display in the garden. Their arching form and vibrant green color add a touch of elegance and grace to outdoor spaces, making them a desirable focal point or accent in landscape designs. The fern is excellent for woodland gardens and shaded areas. They thrive in damp and shady environments, making them ideal for creating lush and tranquil spaces under trees or along streams and ponds. As they prefer partial to full shade, they contribute to the beauty and functionality of shaded garden areas where other plants may struggle to thrive. Moreover, the fern is helpful for erosion control in landscaping. Its extensive fibrous root system helps stabilize soil, effectively preventing erosion on slopes and other vulnerable areas. This erosion control property adds to the fern's value in landscape design, contributing to the garden's long-term structural integrity and stability. Another advantage of using it in landscaping is its low-maintenance nature. Once established, it requires minimal care, making it a practical choice for landscape designs requiring less attention. Additionally, the fern is relatively pest-resistant, reducing the need for chemical treatments and interventions, thereby promoting a more eco-friendly and sustainable landscaping approach. In conclusion, the ostrich fern offers several benefits in landscaping projects. Its dramatic appearance, suitability for shaded areas, erosion control capabilities, low-maintenance nature, and historical use in herbalism make it a valuable addition to gardens and outdoor spaces. By incorporating the fern into landscape designs, enthusiasts can create visually stunning and environmentally friendly landscapes that thrive in shaded environments and contribute to the environment's health. Get your Ostrich Fern at TN Nursery today! The Ostrich Fern, scientifically known as Matteuccia struthiopteris, is a striking and captivating fern species that has gained its name due to its distinctive appearance, reminiscent of ostrich feathers. This perennial fern is native to North America, particularly in regions of the eastern United States and Canada, and is highly regarded for its distinctive fronds and ability to thrive in various environments.  One of the most distinguishing features of the fern is its fronds, characterized by their elegant, feathery appearance. These fronds can grow several feet tall, creating a stunning display of lush greenery. The individual leaflets on each frond are finely divided, giving them a delicate and intricate texture. In spring, the fiddleheads of the fern emerge from the ground, tightly coiled and covered in brown scales, resembling an ostrich's head. As they unfurl, they transform into the beautiful fronds that adorn this fern throughout the growing season.  Ostrich Ferns are typically found in moist, shaded woodlands and prefer soil rich in organic matter. They are known for their ability to spread through rhizomes, forming dense colonies over time. This makes them an excellent choice for naturalizing shady areas in gardens and landscapes. They can adjust to various soil conditions but prefer consistently moist soil.  Their dense growth provides habitat and cover for wildlife, and their rhizomatous nature helps prevent soil erosion. They are also popular with culinary enthusiasts, as the fiddleheads are edible and have a unique, nutty flavor. However, it's essential to ensure they are adequately harvested and cooked to avoid any potential health risks associated with raw consumption.  In conclusion, the Ostrich Fern is a captivating and adaptable fern species native to North America. With its elegant fronds, distinctive fiddleheads, and ability to thrive in various environments, it is a cherished addition to gardens, natural landscapes, and even the culinary world. Whether admired for its beauty or enjoyed as a delicacy, the fern continues to captivate and inspire those who encounter it.

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