Ferns are defined as “wild plants” as their appearance has been known since the time of the dinosaurs. The richness of the greenery is a gift from nature. Specimens from the lowest to those of impressive size give their uniqueness and charm. They develop naturally in the wooded areas, which shows their basic quality – the survival instinct. Their presence in the exterior is not a very typical phenomenon, but it can bring you to a different environment – as if you are in nature.
Create the privacy and tranquillity that you need by using them to enrich the beautiful landscape. You will not be wrong if you use ferns and as a focal point – they definitely have something to offer you. They create a strong impression and bring elegance and freshness. Every gardener – a beginner or more experienced – can handle the easy cultivation of long-lasting and perennial plantations.
Suitable types of ferns for outdoor cultivation
Representatives of fern vegetation are varied, which will probably put you in long reflection and hesitation about what to choose. You need to consider whether your garden is large enough for the arable look of the higher species. Diversity is due to the maximum growth under optimal growing conditions, the shape and the colour of the leaves. There are species that range from a few centimeters up to 2-3 meters in height, formed in simple, feathery, ridge leaves, in shades of the green range. The solution to intense greenery, hanging motifs or long ferns is entirely yours. Some of the widespread specimens are listed below:
This is quite common, probably due to its easy care and beautiful shapes. It reaches up to 1 meter in length and the leaves are deep green. It grows in semi-shaded places, but it preferably grows towards the light without being exposed to direct sunlight. It struggles to withstand temperatures lower than 13-14ºC. It requires wet and fed soil. It may be necessary to cut the leaves, and new plants are obtained by dividing the rhizome.
Addiantum (Adiantum Raddianum)
Often found under the nickname “The Hair of Venus”. It grows perfectly in subtropical areas. The leaves of the plant are feathery, covered with a light waxy layer. Loves the humid environment – it needs immediate irrigation on drought. The biggest pest for this type of fern is the ravenous worm. Try to watch the leaves periodically and remove the dried ones by low cut.
An ideal option to fill with greenery on the shady stretches of your garden. There is a very interesting grip, namely with the roots of the bark of the trees and wet dots. The leaves are beautiful, deep green broad and wide with the wavy periphery. Preferred temperature between 16-18º C, well-lit or semi-dark places. It needs plenty of watering during hot periods because it thrives better in humid environments.
Extremely charming fern with silvery leaves. It reaches 60-80 cm long and 30-40 cm wide. It does not grow below 12-13 ° C, which is slightly worrying for outdoor cultivation. Again they prefer lightly shaded and well-lit areas. Soil moisture is a must for the good development of ferns. Spend abundantly in the summer and moderately during the rest of the seasons. Reproduction takes place by dividing the rhizome.
Platicerium (Platycerium Bifurcatum)
The shape of this species of fern gives him the name “elephant horns”. It is very interesting in the fact that it develops two types of leaves and grows without soil. It can contribute to the charming decor in the garden by placing it in bark of wood or hanging down. The “golden environment” for the development of Platycerium is humidity and indirect exposure to the sun’s rays.
You can create an incredible composition, thanks to the shape and flowing colours of Pteria’s leaves. In the end they are deep green and in the middle lighten. In order to enjoy the beauty of this type of fern, you must take care to prepare appropriate conditions. Loves humidity, bright areas with shade and slightly acidic soil. It does not thrive well at temperatures below 13-14ºС.
Planting, growing and caring for ferns
If you’ve been walking in wooded areas, you probably never had a look at the fern vegetation before you. It is due to the fact that ferns are very fond of shady and damp areas. They find the widest application around swampy areas, around springs, streams, rocky slopes, and more. In the courtyard, you can use them as decorations on the walls of the garden, plant them in the shady areas where another vegetation would develop or around your stream, which will help give you a well-formed look.
It is possible to make a “green carpet” of ferns instead of grass because they need much less attention. The possibilities are endless, as long as you can correctly fit the shapes, colours and especially the sizes. They could be involved in the design of smaller or larger spaces.
Requirements for planting and growing of ferns
Provide them with a place where they would feel most comfortable – although it is not a problem for different types of ferns to grow in a garden and most to develop normally with null care, some require more shade and some more sunshine. It is good to be aware of the composition of your yard in advance so you know where to place them. Ferns are better known for their preference for damp and cooler areas.
However, the wood ferns will not feel well under a “thick shade” at all. If you want them to be part of your garden, you need to put them in direct sunlight, but not for the entire day. They need lighting, but only for a few hours.a day. They do not tolerate excessive heat and strong wind. It is appropriate to place these types in your garden only if you have a larger area because they require freedom around them to reach full maturity. You must provide them a minimum of about 3 meters in diameter.
Comply with soil requirements
The “most suitable bed” for ferns is well-drained, dense and acidic soil, fed with lots of compost. It is possible to enrich it yourself before planting the ferns by pouring the necessary amount of acidic compost and peat moss. This will help to improve the conditions by providing vegetation with additional nutrients. Dig at least half a meter deep and mix thoroughly the compost. This is done in order to prepare the soil so that the young roots can grow freely and grow in the most favourable environment. As you know, the key to good results lies on a good footing. Therefore, prepare good conditions for growing.
Take care of planting
Before putting the ferns in the ground, you need to keep in mind some basic things. You must make sure the roots are not tangled. If so, you can trim them carefully to encourage their growth. Only then can you plant them. You should not forget about mulching around the base at a later stage. This extremely important technique has a number of positive consequences and does not really require much effort. Grounding the soil with a layer of a suitable material is used to maintain soil moisture and prevent the growth of weeds. It can also look like a wonderful decoration around the soil
Requirements for proper maintenance of ferns
Clean and prune the fern vegetation periodically – it is important for ferns to have a good appearance. You’ve probably taken care of the original design of different style and colour shades, now it’s time for ongoing maintenance. To be impressive, some ferns need precision pruning. Have a look at how to do it in advance. It is even more important to clean them. Observe them and remove the dried leaves and those who look sick.
Irrigate if necessary
Ferns are so-called “self-growing plants” that do not require almost any attention. You can often forget that they exist, except when you admire their beauty. Irrigation is one of the main activities for the care of vegetation, but here you will have to do it much less often. Autumn, winter and even during spring when it is not very hot, you rarely need to water them, only when you see that the soil is dry. Summer, however, should be more frequent, as ferns are moisture-loving plants. Be careful not to overdo watering because it will cause rot.
Check for frosts for diseases and pests
They are susceptible to many disease types, especially mites and termites. Wood ferns are most attractive for damage, so you have to react very quickly if you notice anything wrong. Look for lice and beetles on the leaves. You must remove them and then the damaged sheets. This is a serious problem that you have to deal with. Keep in mind that ferns have a serious sensitivity to harmful chemicals. Be careful when using insecticides because it can be detrimental to them. Consult a competent person before taking any decision to avoid unwanted damage
Wrap the ferns with Hexian
Although the vegetation is highly resistant to cold conditions, the younger plants need more careful attention. Therefore, it is necessary to wrap them with a hessian at the end of autumn. If you do not resort to such actions, you will lose what you have achieved so far and the next year you will have to start from the beginning. The wood fern will not die, but it will have severe consequences for the damage.