Foliage for the Ages: Ferns

Spring has finally arrived which means new plants and possibilities! The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and there is no better time to re-decorate your patio, porch, and garden with ferns. Houseplants like Boston fern hanging baskets, Kimberly queen ferns, and the larger-leafed macho ferns are perfect porch staples of spring to last through summer into fall. 

Ferns are not only a lovely addition to the spring porch set up, but are also full of history that even predates humans. Through fossil record, ferns are thought to date back all the way to the Devonian period, which was about 383-393 million years ago. For perspective, the first humans can be dated back between 5-7 million years ago. That means ferns have outlived even the earliest of humans by 378-387 million years! Ferns have seen the rise and fall of many plants and animals, including the dinosaurs since their initial start. This makes them incredibly versatile and timeless plants which allows them to be continuously in style. 

Here are some care tips for our favorite porch ferns: 

Planting in Containers: Boston ferns, Kimberly queen ferns, and macho ferns all can be planted in containers. We recommend you pot-up 2 - 4 inches from the pot size you already have if the plant is already outgrowing its container. For example, if the pot the plant is in is 10 inches, you will want to move it up to a 12-14 inch pot.

Watering: Ferns are very thirsty and like to stay moist but not wet. The best way to check if your plants need water is by touching them. Ferns never like to go completely dry so keeping trays underneath them as well as just making sure the plant is evenly watered is key.

Light: Ferns do their best outdoors in full shade to part sun or dappled shade. However, when the weather cools down in the winters, some of our houseplant ferns need to come inside for the winter season. Indoors ferns prefer bright, indirect light. 

To learn more about ferns visit the American Fern Society.

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