Consideration should be given to native ferns. Ferns indigenous to a region grow best. Ferns vary in form, habitat, size, and texture. Some ferns thrive in the sun, while others prefer the shade or even swampy areas. A native fern is adapted to the local growing conditions and cohabitates nicely with the local environment. The fern is an excellent ornamental plant for outdoor gardens and landscapes.
Types of Native Ferns:
Christmas Fern - The Christmas fern is an evergreen fern that reaches 18 inches at a mature, growing height. The fern has a leather-like texture that provides a nice contrast in most outdoor flower gardens. The Christmas fern does not overly dominate a garden and thrives in a moist shady spot. The spores or seeds or located near the apex of the frond.
Hay Scented Fern – The hay-scented fern is partial to full sun or semi-shaded gardens. This common fern grows fast and may spread rapidly. Some care is required to thin the plant growth each spring. The hay-scented fern is bright green with a lacy texture, beautifully planted in a flower garden with marigolds, zinnias, or other flowering annuals. The leaves are broader at the base of the plant. Spores (seeds) may be found underneath the triangular fronds. This fern may reach a height at maturity of 18 inches.
New York Fern – The new york fern is also commonly found carpeting the soil in a shady forest. The familiar fern often reaches 2 feet at mature, growing height. The tapering of the frond may distinguish the new york fern. The leaves are smaller at the base and top compared to the middle of the frond. A lovely shady garden with sunlight filtered by a large tree is the perfect location for this fern. The spores (seeds) are located on the underside of the fronds and may be saved for replanting
. Advantages of Planting Fern Plants There is a place in every landscape for exotic plants native to faraway places. There are many more places for plants native to the local area, which are well adapted to local environmental stresses. Native plants also are more resistant to insects and diseases common in the local area. Of all native plants, native ferns are highly desirable. Fern plants are available in many different varieties, each bringing its qualities to the landscape. Native ferns are tough and undemanding as long as they have enough shade and moisture. Tall fern plants provide a feathery backdrop for other types of plants. Medium-sized ferns can form a veritable sea of graceful plants that soften the lines of any landscape where shade is abundant.