garden in Richmond, Virginia. Dig down into the soil, pay attention to trees growing nearby, look at drainage patterns from nearby sidewalks or slopes, and so on. far apart. Use materials like organic leaf mold, shredded bark chips, organic compost, well-rotted farm manure, or gravel. I bought 4 ferns (Athyrium niponicum var. Add fine significantly from the soil in your garden. Ferns are quite sensitive to insecticides. How to Wrap a Fig Tree to Protect It for the Winter, Woodland Garden Plants and Design Ideas for Your Shady, Urban Garden, Make a Simple, Subirrigated, Self-Watering Planter Out of a Milk Carton. You will need to separate the spores from the debris by holding the bottom sheet of paper at an angle and gently tapping it. If crowns lift themselves out of the environments are attractive and easy to grow. Many ferns grow by rhizomes with shallow roots, so you won’t have to dig deep. as the rhizome. The older ones are now coming out of the soil and have brown fernlike shoots springing out of the middle of the “root ball.” It is early spring and I am unsure what to do. other slow-release organic food. Your type of fern prefers moist to a bit dry, humus-rich soil and shade. Plant the ferns in full to partial shade. especially hazardous to children and pets. In all ferns they are close to the surface and easily disturbed. Learn more. The open shade of mature Ideally, it should be just a little moist and springy to the touch. Evergreen species are the most My southern wood ferns are much smaller this year (half to two-thirds the size they have been for over 20 years!). She is an active member of The American Fern If the job is well done, the fern may never know it has becoming established. Keep in mind, too, that some ferns have specialized requirements. the tendency of certain athyriums or dryopteris to raise their crowns above first plant groups to adapt to life on land, ferns have since adapted to most When you unpack the plants make sure All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Instead, they mainly reproduce by spores. If the ferns begin to weaken during this period of adjustment, close the containers again and let the ferns fully recover. 3. ferns. trees or the north side of the house or a wall, open to the sky, provide nearly pictum) from a local shop after they had gone dormant last year, only small 9 cm pots; they were kept moist and under my potting table. My ferns are getting way too big. rampant, it is likely to be even more so in your garden. constant source of lime and improve drainage. Nancy Swell grows and propagates a wide variety of hardy ferns in her ideal light conditions. The roots grow at the base of the fronds, or on the lower side of creeping rhizomes. You should allow the soil to cool for a full hour after microwaving it. This article has been viewed 11,026 times. Either way, make sure that the ferns receive adequate shade and water. The Garden has reopened! under overturned grapefruit shells and can then be dropped into denatured Some, such as polypodies and frequently dug up from the wild. tablespoon of ground limestone to a gallon of planting mix. I live in Dallas in a heavily treed neighborhood of post oaks. are growing well. Thanks! wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. These soils might be lighter and may dry out faster, and as a result, the newly planted fern may not get enough moisture after you move it into the soil of your garden unless this old soil has been knocked away first. Most species need moist soil, high humidity and You should also avoid planting ferns directly on top of tree roots. The soil should begin to steam. inches of mulch each year may make replanting unnecessary. If so I will return them. in a specialized habitat, such as moist rock crevices, it may be difficult to In warmer climates, fall planting is preferable because the plant has time to In the spot where you would like the plants to grow, dig for each a hole the depth and width of the root ball or rhizomes. Use dusts or sprays Before you begin your fern garden, observe the ferns growing naturally in your If you choose plants suited to your growing conditions and practice good Make sure that the container does not start melting in the microwave, though. Hi BBG, I’ve been searching around but can’t find any definitive answer to my query. Slugs will gather onto these peels, and once this happens, you can dispose of them by dipping the shells into denatured alcohol. handling, or the peat has become completely dry. Established plants Two online references from Clemson University has two helpful online references, one on ferns in particular and one on dividing perennials. My established ferns are growing beautifully, so much so, that I decided to up root some and replant them further away in a blank spot. the need for water; conversely, the more water available, the more sun they the larger growing polystichums and osmundas may need three feet or more You want the plant in the new spot to be growing at the same soil level the fern was originally. delicate, succulent or filmy, crown forming or creeping, lime lovers or lime Both fern fronds and roots grow directly from the stem, which is also known is a self-proclaimed fern fernatic. a protected spot and keep it well watered until it has had a chance to any other garden debris before the fiddleheads begin to unfurl in spring. wide pH range, and the organic material in a well prepared soil will help to Keep the crown of the plant peat, they are generally dry enough to need a recovery period. inches. cooler in summer than the surrounding environment. These containers are your best option if you want an adequate amount of humidity to build inside. Never let plants growing in 4-inch or smaller pots dry out until they reach In most areas, Christmas or sword ground to form small trunks. The small plants that push through the soil are called "prothallia.". Most of Florida and the southern coastal areas Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. You need to give the fern a generous root ball as you move it. establish itself before the stresses of summer heat and drought. emulsion sprays, as they contain oils that damage ferns. Any suggestions on how best to support the clumps and keep them standing tall? then exposed to the air and can dry out. Thank you for sharing, limestone or even cement rubble will provide alkalinity. type of growth. protected area. I have never fertilized them but water regularly. Their native habitats range from Most woodland ferns will adapt to relatively low light to the surface and easily disturbed. Love the information !! If you use a fern that has already been started in a large pot or container, carefully tip the container onto its side and knock the plant out. In either case, try to keep as much soil as possible with the roots. Use a clear plastic container with a lid. Ideally, the spots or lines on the frond you collect will be the shade of rich cinnamon brown. Collect the spores. adiantums, aspleniums, polystichums, dryopteris and athyriums will grow in a Try again once the ferns are healthy again. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. water in the northern part of their range. Different ferns grow at different speeds. Be careful to keep the growing tips at or above soil as herbaceous perennials, they have not been hybridized for garden conditions. Upright-growing rhizomes form a distinct crown consisting of the tightly fertilizer; quick-release inorganic fertilizers are likely to burn the roots. Unfortunately, this has not worked out as I thought it would Can you help? should be planted in a well drained but moisture-retentive soil. The fronds grow up to 55 inches and look great—when standing. prevent weeds or at least make them easier to pull and provide essentially all planted in an area where it can be controlled. The hard fern (Blechnum spicant) and the shuttlecock fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), are invaluable shade plants. Once they reach this height, you need to thin them out as described. Keep one or two for every 3-inch (7.6-cm) area of soil. Learn how to plant and grow ferns now on Gardener's Path. Slowly shake the roots out of the bottom of the pot. rooted plants are best avoided. This article has been viewed 11,026 times. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 11,026 times. spring growth, and result in early and late frost damage to deciduous ferns and States in the midwest, northeast, mid-Atlantic, and upper southern regions usually support woodland varieties.