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Growing Ferns

Growing Fern

Red Beauty Fern


A number of different hardy foliage plants with attractive leaves. Often grown in woodland gardens and combine well with other foliage or flowering plants. Some hardy Ferns are North American native species. Store bare root Ferns in a cool area out of direct sun before planting. Can hydrate by soaking roots in water for 2 to 3 hours. Plant outdoors in spring up to 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Loosen the soil 12 to 18 inches deep and wide enough to fit all the roots. Incorporate compost or other organic matter into loosened soil and mix well. Spread roots out without bending. Plant so the crown is an inch below ground level.


Easy-to-grow plants for part shade to full shade. Best in moist, well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Benefits from mulching.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use low rates of Algoflash Flowering Plant 4-6-7 Liquid Fertilizer (51087), Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221), or Osmocote 14-14-14 (51173).

Alternative Products

Other perennial foliage plants include Heuchera, Hosta, and Tiarella.

Complimentary Products

Ferns have low fertility needs and benefit from occasional fertilization. Flowering perennials for shaded locations include Astilbe and White Lily Of The Valley (11142).

Fern Facts

Ferns are generally low-maintenance and free from pest or disease problems. Mealybugs and scale are occasional problems. Ferns do not flower or produce seed, but instead grow from spores. 


Growing Tips