Ferns are primitive plants that differ mainly in that they don’t have flowers or cones to produce seed - instead they produce spores on the back of their leaves.
Ferns are great to use in your garden - they look delicate and feathery, and often are a great solution for shaded areas. Different ferns require various light levels. Those with reddish new fronds, such as Blechnum penna-marina, will tolerate more light than those with very dark green fronds.
What to grow
Common ferns that are easy to grow are several aspleniums and Blechnum penna-marina.
Visit our plant database for the easiest ferns to grow in Auckland.
How to plant
- Free draining soil that retains moisture is ideal for ferns. Most hate clay soils.
- Soil drainage and aeration can be improved by adding organic matter prior to planting.
- Ferns don’t like to dry out, so mulch after planting and water during dry periods.
How to grow
Some ferns, such as hen and chicken, will benefit from occasional removal of old unsightly fronds. Tree ferns can look unsightly when old fronds are draped around the trunk. However these fronds are protecting the trunk from drying out, so perform an important function.
Top image: Blechnum discolour
Bottom image: Blechnum penna-marina