Plant Profile: Ferns

posted in: Plant Profiles | 4

Ferns are a member of the vascular plants and are herbaceous perennials, they do not have flowers or seeds. There are numerous varieties of ferns. I have Ostrich ferns and recently a Japanese fern in the garden.

The Ostrich ferns, which I have in my gardens, spread rapidly via rhizome roots. You plant them in one place and the next year they just might show up somewhere else.

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Spring is a good time to dig these extra ferns and move them to a new location or share with other gardeners. They poke through the ground with fiddleheads and for some this is a delicacy to eat.

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One year I dug some in the spring and replanted them in a big pot in the front shade garden. They grew really well so I’m doing the same this year. In the fall I dug them and replanted them in the garden. I didn’t think they would do well in the freeze/thaw cycles that happen with the pot. At least with the roots in the ground they would spend most of the winter frozen.

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The leaves are called fronds. Shady gardens are the best place to grown them and they also like humidity or the fronds might turn brownish and dry right out.

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Last year in September I had an unusual growth come on up the center of my ferns that I hadn’t seen before. It was two shoots that started green and turned brown.

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I found out this is usual for Ostrich ferns. They start out green, turn brown, and will stay over winter. In spring they release spores before dying out. So if you have any growing don’t cut them off.

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I also have a Japanese fern and have only had it for a year so haven’t had time to document it with photos.

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Do you grow ferns in a shady spot in your garden?

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4 Responses

  1. Jennifer Jilks

    I have so many lovely ferns. They make me feel peaceful! (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario, Canada!

  2. Lavender Dreams

    I’ve learned a lot about ferns today! We see big areas taken over by ferns along the Rainbow River. It looks so beautiful right now! Enjoy your week. Happy gardening.

  3. Angie

    Linda – beautiful fern specimens! Our climate in Montana is much too dry for ferns, so I have to admire them when I visit other climates! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

  4. Myrtle Thomas

    We don’t have any ferns but should I decide it would be the Japanese fern, they are pretty. Enjoy having your two girls and grandchildren getting together.

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