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Posted by Tammy Sons on Dec 31, 1969

How To Grow Ferns Successfully

Ferns can be grown both outdoors and as houseplants. There are many ferns, including cinnamon, New York, hay-scented, and lady fern. Most of them seem to prefer shady to semi-shady locations. They’re generally easy to care for and prefer slightly acid soil and regular watering. Mulch will help the plant to retain moisture. Fern plants are also deer resistant. They are exciting plants because they’re non-flowering and reproduce using spores usually found on the underside of the leaves.

Ferns need good potting soil and average room temperatures and need to be put in a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight and is somewhat shady. As in the garden, they’ll need to be kept moist as a houseplant. Misting the plants occasionally keeps the humidity level high and also helps keep the fronds clean. The plants are also light feeders and only need fertilizing once a month.

The lady fern is one fern that can grow in full sunlight. Lady fern has lacy, 30 to 36-inch fronds that begin as pale green and grow darker over time.

The cinnamon fern grows in boggy areas and swamps. It produces lovely sterile and fertile fronds, with the fertile fronds being somewhat shorter than the infertile fronds. Cinnamon fern is named because the fertile fronds eventually darken to the color of cinnamon. The fern doesn’t produce cinnamon from an entirely different plant.

New York fern has pretty tapering fronds and is naturally found in Canada and down through the eastern part of the United States. New York fern can grow in quite acidic soil.

Hay scented fern is also found in the eastern areas of the United States, Appalachia, and as far west as Wisconsin. It also likes acidic soil. Hay scented fern gets its name because it has a pleasing, hay-scented fragrance when crushed.