General Discussion:

How am I killing my ferns?

Messages posted to thread:

sarahmoldaver19-May-05 08:28 PM EST 3a   
Patricia 29-May-05 03:54 PM EST 5   
katherine12-Jun-05 07:18 AM EST 3   
Patricia14-Jun-05 03:40 PM EST 5   

Subject: How am I killing my ferns?
From: sarahmoldaver (
Zone: 3a
Date: 19-May-05 08:28 PM EST

OK. So I have these ostrich ferns in a shady moist bed. They come up great each spring, the crowns unfurl, the fronds stretch out, and it looks vase-like and lovely. Then the fronds keep going, and flatten against the ground and die. Then they grow new ones and do it again. Repeat ad nauseam. I have not had great luck with ferns in the past, so was thrilled to get this far in the last 2 springs. Are they getting flattened by aggressive rain since they're not under trees? Or stomped by kids who won't own up to it? (I don't *see* evidence of this...) Am stumped. If you have an insight, please share! sarah in Edm AB

Subject: RE: How am I killing my ferns?
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 29-May-05 03:54 PM EST

Sarah: you say the fern are in a "shady moist bed" then later, you say "they're not under trees". Can you explain? What is providing shade if the ferns are not under trees?

Here in Ottawa, I dug up ostrich ferns from the nearby woodland and planted them under a few trees - a small area I jokingly refer to as "the woods". They are growing great - in fact, they're a bit aggressive.

Let me know.

Subject: RE: How am I killing my ferns?
From: katherine
Zone: 3
Date: 12-Jun-05 07:18 AM EST

We're having the same problem!

Our ferns, planted last year in a shady, moist area, (under trees) are growing up & then flattening out - but not dying (yet). {There are no children running through them.}

The ferns are at the back of a bed with hostas & lily of the valley (both doing well). We use a fine cedar/pine mulch & have not fertilized ferns. Any ideas on what we're doing wrong?

Thanks for any help/suggestions.

Subject: RE: How am I killing my ferns?
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 14-Jun-05 03:40 PM EST

My feeling would be maybe lack of moisture, but you say the area is moist. Sometimes, tree roots take all the moisture in the soil and the plants under them are actually quite dry. Dry shade is about the most difficult environment to grow in, to my mind.

In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row