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How to Grow Ferns

Hardy Planting FernsThe botanical group of pteridophytes includes every species typically considered ferns: plants that have existed for as long as 360 million years and which reproduced via spores. Terrestrial ferns, or athyrium, grow all over the world, and are some of the simplest and most popular plants used in gardening and floristry.

Botanical Name:


Most Popular Colors: Green, grey, white.

Soil Preferences: Hummus-rich or acidic, moisture-retaining soil.

Climate Preferences: Winter-hardy in most temperate climates, but cannot tolerate winters with far below-freezing temperatures. Humidity is ideal, especially during the growing season.

Sun Exposure: Shade or filtered light.

Landscaping Tips: Ferns can provide interest and coverage to shady spots throughout your yard.

Planting: Plant ferns in humus-enriched soil. For bareroot ferns, dig a hole large enough to spread out roots without bending them. Set roots 1 to 2 inches below ground-level and water thoroughly.


  • Don't let the soil around ferns dry out - water regularly and use mulch to lock in moisture.
  • Look for evergreen varieties - many types of ferns will grow well into the fall.
  • Be sure to provide plenty of water, but don't allow the ground to become soggy.

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