April 28, 2017

My favorite Ferns

Kimberly Fern
Boston Fern
Annual ferns are happy in the house or outside in the summer. I've seen Boston ferns get huge if they are happy inside. A sunny window and some misting is about all it takes to keep them growing.The wrens invariably build a nest in at least one of the Boston ferns that I hang on the front porch. We enjoy watching the babies hatch and hop all around the porch. They don't harm the ferns either.  Another "house" fern is the Kimberly Fern. This one grows tall, not "weepy" like the Boston. It's one of America's favorite porch plants. Be prepared for a big container with this one or divide it yearly to keep it happy.

Living in the woods has some advantages. I can have all the ferns I want without worrying that they might get too much sun. Below are a couple of my favorites.

Two of the ones that are native to Tennessee and have come up volunteer in my backyard are Christmas fern and Cinnamon fern. Christmas ferns look a lot like the Boston ferns that are houseplants but Christmas ferns will not be happy in the house. They need the cold winter and the humidity outside to thrive. Cinnamon ferns  are the ones that unfurl in the spring and grow tall  fronds that will turn orange in the fall if they get a little sun.

I don't fuss over any of my ferns. I apply a 14-14-14 timed release fertilizer in the spring, water when they are dry and pretty much forget them after that.

Cinnamon Fern fall color

Cinnamon Fern in spring 

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