Ferns are delicate, beautiful plants and should be taken care of. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They should be taken care of by hand, not garden tools. Most ferns are considered to be evergreen after their colors have gone with the season. Ferns can be easily moved with various methods. It is also easy to grow other ferns with mother plants. Ferns can be used as precious border plants, potted plants, or just a part of an entire fern garden. Some ferns may attract butterflies and other nice insects.
Common Name: Japanese Shield Fern/Autumn Fern/Fern
Scientific Background: These much-loved plants are native to the many areas ranging from deserts to swamps and from the tropics to the Arctic, and are in the family Dryopteridaceae. They are one type of many vascular plants. Ferns have neither seeds nor flowers, and have water vessels. They are also in the groups, Monilophytes or pteridophytes. Though ferns are believed to be at least 360 million years old according to discovered fossils, many of the current varying species didn’t exist until about 145 million years ago. They have been around since before land animals, and dinosaurs.
Scientific Name: Dryopteris Erythrosora
Blooms/Foliage: Ferns do not have blooms, but instead have fronds, or “leaves”. They are called fronds to distinguish them from the leaves of flowering plants. Ferns’ fronds can vary in sizes from 1 centimeter to 5 meters, and are divided into two parts, the stipe and the blade, which can vary in width and length also. This Autumn Fern has fronds with a mixture of copper, red, and green colors.
Hardiness Zones: Ferns grow anywhere where there is plentiful shade, and thoroughly moist, and in warm winter regions. Some ferns prefer rocky, hard surfaces, while others prefer grassy, softer surfaces.
Growth Habit: While this fern spreads with underground stems and can grow out to 12″-30″ wide and up to 12″-30″ tall, but some can go well over that measurement reaching over 12′ tall and wide.
Exposure: Ferns can manage under part shade or full shade. Too much sun exposure can kill the ferns.
Water: Ferns like enough water to keep their soil moist, but their soil should never be allowed to become dry.
Spread: Ferns should be spaced apart 12″-18″ when planting with others.
Soil: Ferns should be planted in slightly acidic, humus soil, rich in organic matter.
Potential Handling Dangers: Ferns have been tested and found to cause a minor skin irritation and nasal reactions.
Potential Plant Dangers: Mealy Bugs, Nematodes, Mites, Aphids, and snails are all known to sometimes appear on ferns and potentially cause problems.
Helpful Tips: Add some compost to your ferns to give an extra boost.