Choosing The Best Ferns For Shade Gardens

Choosing the Right Native Fern for Your Garden


Ferns make a stunning and versatile feature for any landscape. Their delicate leaves and lush green fronds provide a touch of class to shaded areas and thrive in the sun that is dappled. Here's what you should learn about planting the best native fern varieties for borders in your garden.


What are the best plants for your garden?

Before planting, selecting appropriate ferns to plant in your garden is vital. There are numerous varieties of ferns, each with distinct characteristics and growth requirements. Some prefer damp soil and shady areas; others prefer more sun and dry ground. A few of the most well-known native fern varieties are:

Royal Fern


The Royal Fern is known as "the flowering fern" because, amid the summer, it produces a vast amber inflorescence that is readily confused with a flower. Its height expects to range from 3 to 6 feet, dwarfing the ferns that most people are familiar with and enjoy. As the rhizomes below penetrate the earth, the bunches of these branches grow and spread.


Despite being enormous and lovely, this fern has one of the slowest reproduction rates. A very appropriate personality attribute for a royal plant, its rhizomes will gradually creep across your garden and spring up new offshoots as it pleases. This Fern prefers to grow considerably more quickly when planted in acidic soil so that you can hasten growth.


New York fern


At their largest, New York ferns can reach heights of one to two feet. Even when completely grown, fern leaves are tiny. It is a very recent species of Fern that has been discovered.


Most people assume that ferns belongs to the plant family Thelypteridaceae. The humid wooded region of the planet is where the Fern can mature and exhibit its greatest strength. Mulch will help your Fern flourish and look its best because ferns do better in open, damp environments.


These ferns will significantly enhance the other design elements in your yard. The months that matter the most are when the Fern grows and displays beautiful color. Given that it is a medium-sized fern, you will have enough space to grow additional flowers and plants while allowing the New York Fern to stand out and notice in your yard. 


Keep your Fern in a humid environment and take care of it properly if you want it to live as long as possible. Your garden will receive what it needs from the Fern. Your garden will receive what it needs from the Fern. Add a New York Fern to your mix of plants to ensure your landscape has the greatest ferns and plants.


Bracken Fern


This type is a unique species of small Fern for borders that can be recognized by its enormous, divided leaves and lush green color, although it also has some reddish and yellow undertones near the base of the plant. If the right conditions are present, this plant can develop at a height of up to four feet and grow quickly.


While it can handle direct sunlight, it prefers a location with some shade. In the entire shade, it might perform better. It can tolerate various soil conditions, like having access to sunlight. Although it may live in dry, very acidic soils, it prefers moist, slightly acidic soil. However, it needs to improve on soil that may use improved drainage.


Ferns generally do not generate seeds or fruits via which they spread. Instead, they procreate using sex cells or spores. Smaller fern species employ sex cells, whereas more significant kinds use spores. In particular, the Bracken reproduces twice a year via spores. There are no flowers of any type on the Bracken Fern.


Maidenhair Fern


Adiantum, or Maidenhair Fern. A genus of maidenhair ferns has fluffy, light-green fronds with an unusual, virtually round, fan-like shape. These ferns are simple to cultivate as long as they are kept in a damp atmosphere and aren't allowed to dry out. They frequently use as indoor potted plants or ground cover plants because of how simple they are to care for. These ferns range from 20 to 24 inches and have a lengthy lifespan. 


Maidenhair ferns come in a wide variety of varieties. The leaf stalk is slender, woody, and delicate. Instead of being green or brown, individual stalks sometimes report being maroon.

The leaves are delicate to the touch and have a pale green-grey color. 


On this Fern, the leaves are arranged in clusters. As they spread and cover a big area, it is advisable to plant these ferns a few feet apart. These ferns prefer partial to complete shade and moist soil. They grow best in environments with higher moisture.


Planting ferns in your yard is a fantastic approach to filling your outdoor space with lush greenery. To grow evergreen ferns for borders, follow these guidelines:


Find the perfect location.

Find a space in your garden that receives indirect sunlight or shade for at least part of the day. Ferns love regions that are shaded or partially shaded. Ensure that the soil and drainage are both excellent.


Getting the soil ready

After selecting your ferns, it's time to get the soil ready. Ferns prefer organically rich, moist soil that drains properly. Treat your thick, clay-like soil with compost or peat moss to increase drainage. You should add some organic matter to your sandy soil to help it retain moisture. To help your ferns grow, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil.


Dig a hole.

Dig a hole bigger than Fern's root ball. When you plant it, the top of the root should be level with the soil surface. Therefore, the hole needs to be deep enough to accommodate that.


Install the Fern

To make sure the top of the root is level with the soil's surface, insert the Fern into the hole to remove any air bubbles from the hole, backfill it with soil, and tamp it down gently. After planting, thoroughly water the Fern.



To assist the Fern in retaining moisture and control weed growth, spread a layer of mulch around its base. Keep the organic material away from the stem using a layer of wood chips or fallen leaves.


Water frequently 

Ferns require frequent watering, especially in the initial weeks following planting. To ensure the roots have enough water, deeply water the ferns at the base of the plant.


With the help of these instructions, you may easily plant a fern in your yard and take advantage of its lush, year-round greenery.



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