Shade loving trio of unique textures.
Dryopteris, Matteuccia, Athyrium
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Ferns: Potted Plant Perennial
How to Plant
Planting Potted Plants:
- Choose a location in full to part shade, with moist, slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
- Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- Ferns are low-maintenance plants, but they need a consistently moist soil in order to thrive, but do not leave ferns in standing water.
- You can propagate ferns by division in fall or spring.
- Fern foliage is great for greenery in flower arrangements.
- Ferns are perfect for shade gardens and woodland areas. They combine well with hostas and other perennials that do well in shade. Creeping ferns make great groundcovers.
Zone3-8SunFull ShadeHeight8-36 inchesSpread12-15 inchesResistant ToRabbitOrnamental UseBeds, BordersPlanting TimeFall, SpringGenusDryopteris, Matteuccia, AthyriumLife CyclePerennial