Wonderful Native Plant of North America The Bracken Fern

Wonderful Native Plant of North America The Bracken Fern

If you love green gardens, consider planting the bracken fern, scientifically known as Pteridium aquilinum. This is a widely growing plant, especially in Northern America. The fern has stiff triangular-shaped fronds and quickly grows into large colonies. You can grow Bracken Fern as underground foliage in a wooded area. The plant also makes your rock garden beautiful and works well for a cottage garden. Read on to learn more about this attractive plant.

Growing Bracken Fern

Bracken fern can tolerate different soil types but grows well in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. The plant will also require slight acidity and consistent moisture. Provide some shade too. Reduce the watering if the plant grows so aggressively. Look for an isolated space in your garden to plant bracken ferns since their rhizomes spread quickly.

Once you designate a spot, dig a deep, wide hole, then place the rhizomes at the center. Cover the hole with enough soil, then water it. Remember to keep the ferns at least seven feet away from each other. You can also plant bracken fern in a container to limit its spread. Use a large enough ceramic porous pot with good drainage.

Plant Care

Once established, the plant will require low maintenance. You must apply manure or other organic compounds at least once annually. Also, add a layer of mulch on the roots for moisture retention. Bracken fern can grow to seven feet tall, especially in early spring. Therefore, you must occasionally prune the plant and remove broken fronds. When grown in the right conditions, bracken fern is highly resistant to pests.


If you want to propagate bracken fern:

  1. Dig out the plant and ensure you get the whole rhizome.
  2. Carefully divide the roots.
  3. Transplant the divisions in a different area at the same conditions as the mother plant.

The Bottom Line

Bracken ferns are easy to grow and perfect for almost All Gardens. The plant creates a unique and wild look in your yard. It also pulls out odors and chemicals from the air contributing to a cleaner environment.