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If people are unable to see the forest for the trees, then imagine how easy it is to overlook the many benefits of the lowly fern in landscaping design. They are such a common and essential part of the fabric of both field and forest; it's easy to see why this plant is not noticed. Various fern species provide environmental cover, act as food for both wild animals and humans. Filter toxins from contaminated soils, making them a critical "medic" in land restoration. And today, the "lowly" fern is occupying an increasingly important space in landscape planning on private land. Read on to see why.
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1. There's A Fern For All Occasions
A few decades ago, there were less than ten species of ferns appropriate for backyard landscaping. Today, there's more than 150. And while even modified remain nonflowering plants, their colors and shape more than makeup for lack of blossoms.
2. They Command Respect
They do have animal predators and disease problems, but many fewer than other plant species.
3. They Are Hardy And Don't Need Much Attention
A lack of or overabundance of moisture is possibly the single most significant deterrent to the thriving of the plant or colony. Working with professional landscapers is the best way to ensure the pairing of the right ones with the right property.
4. Ferns Can Restore "Injured" Properties
Multiple studies have shown how ferns can filter toxins like heavy metals from the land. Certain species of ferns such as marsh ferns provide excellent ground cover for very wet areas and can reduce damage from erosion.
Ferns - Planting them
Hardy as they are, fern species have particular requirements; This is why it's best to have property types assessed and recommendations made professionally before proceeding. With that in mind, here are a few of the more popular ferns for specific property types:
For Very Wet Areas
Native species like cinnamon ferns and sensitive ferns do well in wet areas, including thriving in bogs and at the edge of ponds.
For Dry Areas
Not all ferns need lots of water to thrive. There are fern species that can survive in desert conditions, though these plants are smaller and less showy. The more abundant wood ferns and lady ferns do very well in drier yards, however.
For Areas With Moderate Light And Moisture
Hart's tongue (needs extra lime), oak, and autumn ferns all do well in moderate light. They also need less moisture than some other species,
Fern Plant Information
Ferns are a part of the vascular plant group known as tracheophytes; they reproduce using spores and have no flowers or seeds. When they grow, they uncoil fiddlehead-shaped appendages that transform into fronds. Ferns have specialized tissues that soak up the water and nutrients they need to thrive. There are approximately 10,560 species of this plant.
The leaves of fern plants are very complex; they are called megaphylls. Many fern plants belong to the leptosporangiate group, which are the "true ferns." The first fern plants existed about 360 million years ago, according to fossils. These green plants may not look extraordinary, but they have quite an essential role in the world. These plants have their place across many areas, including food, medicine, decoration, agriculture, and art. Some types of fern plant can heal ailments, restore degraded soil, and boost the nutrition of the foods we eat. They may even be able to purify the air from chemicals, some studies suggest.
These vascular plants have three parts, leaves, roots, and steams. Many plants within the species have roots that grow above grown that are known as stolons. Only a few of the species of fern have underground sources. The megaphyll, or front, of the greenery, is where photosynthesis occurs. When a fern leaf is fertile, it is known as a sporophyll. These leaves produce spores, the centerpiece of fern reproduction. The roots of a fern are much like those of any other plant. They don't play a role in photosynthesis, but they help the plant get the necessary water and nutrients needed for survival.
The sporophyte phase is the most significant part of the fern life cycle. These plants prosper in a wide range of habitats including mountains, deserts, and shady abodes. Most types of fern need shade and a specific pH to survive.
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Ferns are some of the most natural types of plants to grow. They aren't very temperamental and typically need a shaded, moist environment. Here we'll mention a few examples of ferns that are easy additions to a shaded garden space. All of the following should receive partial sunlight and damp soil to ensure proper growth.
Christmas Ferns are one of the most popular types of ferns. They can be seen all year long with their deep green-blue coloring that adds a pop to any backyard scenery. These ferns are expected to grow 1 to 2 feet in height and are usually used for ground cover. Christmas Ferns are simple to grow and require regular watering and shaded space. These ferns are native to northeastern America and survive better in colder climates. This species is perfect for year-long landscaping.
Another popular fern species are New York Ferns. These ferns are softer and lighter in color than other ferns. New York Ferns have a fine texture, and they grow together in small clusters. New York Ferns are also used as ground cover, as they can grow in thick patches. This species survives best in woodland settings and requires moist soil and a partially shaded environment. They proved a lovely yellow-green shade to any backyard setting.
Ostrich Ferns are a species that require lots of shade and damp soil to thrive. These are visually appealing and can make any average backyard setting into a magical place. Ostrich Ferns are among the taller fern species, as they can grow to be 3 to 6 feet in height and are recognizable by their curled ends. Not only can these ferns be planted outside, but they can also make a great addition as a household plant. Just be sure to keep them out of direct light.
The final fern type we'll look at is the Hay Scented Ferns. These ferns are easily distinguished by the fragrant scent they give off in the yard. This fern species is known to grow in large colonies and grow about a foot in width and height. The Hay Scented Ferns have a soft texture and are commonly found in the northeastern parts of the U.S. Once again; these ferns require damp soil and a beautiful shaded spot to grow. They survive best in mild to colder climates, and it is essential to avoid direct sunlight.
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