Growing Tips for...
Including Japanese Beech Fern, Ostrich Fern, and Japanese Painted Fern
Garden Site Conditions
When choosing the spot for your new plant, consider the following requirements:
Sun exposure: part shade (2-4 hours of sunlight)
Soil: Most perennials prefer fertile, well-drained soil, but are tolerant of a
wide range of conditions. Avoid sites that are extremely wet or excessively dry.
Dig your hole and place the top of the soil of the plant flush with the ground. Try not to place the crown (base) of the plant too high or too low. Then just fill in the dirt, tamp it down around the plant, and water it thoroughly.
Over the next 4 weeks, your plant will need 0.5"-1" of water every week, either from rainfall or from you. After that, your plant will only need water during excessively dry or hot periods. Wilting is usually a sign that the plant needs water. However, in some cases, wilting can also be a sign of root rot.
Deadheading & Pruning
Ferns do not produce flowers, so there is no need to deadhead. Light pruning can be done to remove any ugly fronds throughout the year to keep the plant looking neat.
After a couple hard frosts, your plants will look brown and dead. Prune these dead tops off, leaving 1-2" above the soil, for a neat appearance and to prevent the spread of disease in your garden. Some ferns are semi-evergreen. If your fern is still green in early winter, do not prune them back until they have turned brown.
Fertilizing & Mulching
In spring, as the plants begin to wake up and emerge, they appreciate a dose of fertilizer and a layer of mulch. Your local garden center can help you choose the appropriate type of fertilizer, and the dosage rates are printed on the container. Mulch should be 2-3" deep and avoid smothering the plant.
What's Next? Your plant needs some friends! Here's a list of companion plants that like the same conditions. These are excellent growers and well suited for our area.