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Hardiest Fern Types
The glory of ferns gives a beautiful, feathery feature to any household conservatory.
What are the hardiest, most attractive ferns to choose for a garden?
The maidenhair fern is a delectable diva with somewhat of an attitude, or at least, it seems so
Their delicate, lacy fronds are a sought-after addition to indoor foliage, but they demand certain conditions from the environment.
First, maidenhair ferns require high humidity—place in a tray of water. Shaded light works best. Do not expose your maidenhair to drafts or dryness. Dry conditions will cause it to simply go dormant, as it would in the many wild, tropical places it inhabits naturally. If these conditions are met, maidenhair ferns are not difficult to grow.
Cinnamon fern is an outdoor beauty, adding its tall, stately form to shaded fence lines and porch railings. Cinnamon ferns can reach heights of four feet or more, and their double types of fronds have distinct colors and textures. This gives a multi-visual appeal to their beds.
Like most ferns, cinnamon requires plenty of water. They are native to coastal areas and swampland. They are so hardy that their range extends from Florida to Newfoundland. They are quite adaptable, provided they receive enough moisture. The trick to raising them is in the planting—plant after the very last frost in your area in deep shade or low sunlight. Plant two feet apart in low or wet areas.
New York Fern is often seen growing in large, fronded groups literally carpeting the forest floors in Northeastern locations of the United States and Canada. They are soft and yellowish-green, standing about one to two feet high. The foliage has a fine, lacy texture and translucence; the delicate leaf blades are rounded on the tips. The New York fern has made the endangered list in Illinois, but it is common in areas further east.
This Fern enjoys the moist conditions common to all ferns, and dappled woodland shade and sunlight suit it best. A protected area is best for planting, preferably among trees.
A spreading wood fern, unlike many other ferns, has a strong, woody stock branching into large, green feathery fronds. The leaflets of a spreading wood fern have fringed tips. This Fern grows one or two feet in height, with a ruffled, wimpled visual effect. This Fern is native to cool climates, including the subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows well on rocky slopes and cool, moist woods. Hardy in USDA zone 3 and can withstand winter temperatures at 40 below F.
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Fern Plants Benefits in Landscaping
Fern plants are a great addition to any garden where it is difficult to get other plants to grow. Ferns offer the benefit of being able to flourish in shady spots, delivering a huge and impactful amount of color, being low maintenance, and make great companion plants. Regardless of the reasons you're adding them to your landscaping, fern plants are sure to provide your garden with many benefits.
These are some planting guidelines to consider if you are interested in adding ferns to your garden.
Fern Plant Description
Ferns are short and stocky plants, have a distinct green color, and are recognizable by their large fronds. Each type of fern plant has a distinct type of frond, or leaf, with some of them being feathery while others are thick.
Hardy Zones of Fern Plants
Most hardy fern plants are able to grow in zones four to eight when all their growing needs are met.
Bloom Season and Color
Ferns do not produce blooms, so they have no blooming season. However, the leaves of fern plants have a long growing season and produce several rounds of fern leaves.
Fern Plant Height
Fern plants generally tend to grow as high as one to two feet tall, but there are some that are just a few inches tall when they are mature.
Soil Type Preferred By Fern Plants
Most varieties of fern plants prefer growing in soil that is moist and well-draining, closely representing the soil naturally found in wooded forest floors.
Sun or Shade Preferred by Fern Plants
Ferns typically prefer growing in the shade, which is why they are great for landscaped areas that are deep in shade but need something to fill the space. Ferns that are grown in low to the partial sun are able to do well, but those grown in full sun will struggle.
Fern Plants- Easy Favorites To Plant & Grow
While there are many plants to include in your garden or accent your landscape, the Fern is a popular plant. And it is relatively easy to plant and grow. If you are looking for a fern plant that lasts throughout the year, the Christmas Fern is one to produce in hardy zone #3. The Christmas fern keeps its beautiful green color throughout the whole year. Ferns grow well in partial shade and reproduce through spores. Ferns do not need continual direct sunlight. However, some types of Ferns will grow in full shade or sun.
Growing Methods Of Ferns
Ferns do not have flowers or seeds like many other plants. However, ferns do have stems, roots, and leaves. Ferns reproduce sexually through the use of their tiny spores. They can also propagate through vegetative methods.
Soil And Garden Conditions For Ferns
When planting Ferns, it is best to add compost to the loam. Loose soil is best. Ferns rely on shady areas to really grow. Ferns grow very well in moist soil. So they are also a natural choice for edging a stream or pond. Ferns like the Christmas fern are great additions to replace other plants, especially perennials that loved moisture-infused areas. Replacing perennials with plants like the Christmas fern can keep your rain gardens looking full and green year-round. Ferns provide excellent ground cover in areas of the property that do not require much attention.
The more loose and loamy the soil is when planting the Fern with its plug or bare roots, the better it will be able to take hold in soil that consists of rich, organic material. Working that peat moss and compost is an excellent way to prep your favorite ferns.
Depending on the ferns you plan to plant, some of these plants prefer acidic pH in the soil. Testing the pH of the earth and picking the ferns that will grow in these conditions will help. If there is direct sunlight for long periods of time during the day, Cinnamon ferns are noted to be good choices.