5 tips for planting ferns in the garden


Loving damp and shady locations, ferns are ideal for embellishing your embankments, rockeries and ponds, or for hiding the birth of a wall or the base of shrubs.

5 tips for planting ferns

When to plant ferns?

The off-seasons – spring and autumn – are the best time to plant them. However, avoid periods of extreme temperatures: frost or high temperatures .

Where to plant ferns?

They grow naturally in the undergrowth, because they like the shade and the freshness. They therefore like the shade of hedges or trees. They also like rich, humus-rich soil. However, some varieties adapt to poorer and drier soil such as cheilanthes lanosa, dryopteris filix-mas or polystichum acrostichoides. To dress a low wall or sublimate a rockery, favor polypody or centipedes.

Plant them well

Mix earth and heather earth (in equal parts), add a little sand and add a little compost. After packing well, water generously and mulch with ramial wood chips or bark to keep the soil moist and cool. The spacing of the ferns varies according to the species: count 1 to 5 plants per square meter.

How to take good care of them

Ferns are extremely hardy and do not fear disease. During the first two years, on the other hand, it is necessary to provide them with generous watering : be particularly vigilant during periods of drought. Suspend (or greatly reduce) watering in the fall, the dormant period. If your soil is poor, plan an annual addition of compost in March.

Prune the ferns

Pruning is done at the end of winter. In the case of deciduous ferns, cut off the faded fronds then clean the heart of the plant. If you’ve opted for evergreen varieties, discard one-year-old fronds. You can also keep them for a few years and let them wither on their own.


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