Ferns

Ferns are very versatile garden plants that give your garden an instant upgrade. Ferns thrive mostly in shady places, which makes them very suitable for every garden. Just give ferns the right care and they will thrive for many seasons. Garden Beauty offers a wide range of ferns with feather-like foliage and beautiful colours. Add a fern to your garden and you will be treated to an outstanding look all year long. 

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What fern suits you?

Add colour and interest to your garden with ferns. Ferns are an ancient lineage of plants dating back to at least 360 million years. As long as you water your ferns, they will be happy. Without water, they will not survive. Just keep an eye out to not let the soil dry out and you will be enjoying the versatility and beauty of ferns.

The golden rule for ferns is that you have to pick a species that is right for the climate you live in.

How to grow ferns

We will show you how you can successfully grow and care for ferns to enjoy them for many years. Ferns were founded in tropical climates, but the ferns we offer in our webshop, are fully evolved in a cool temperate climate. Just as important as choosing the right species for the UK climate, is choosing the right spot in the garden to plant them. Most ferns don’t like harsh afternoon sun and strong winds. If you want the traditional green-looking ferns, you have to plant them in the shade. Ferns are shade-loving plants.

Watering your ferns

Ferns love moist soil. How do you avoid your soil from drying out? Hand watering and drip systems are the best approaches to watering ferns. People think that you should only feed and water your ferns from the centre, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are certain that the water and nutrients are getting in there.

Fertilizing ferns

Besides watering your ferns, it’s vital to provide ferns with the correct nutrients. Just before their active growth period, apply a light top dressing of fertilizer. In the warmer months, during their active growth, give them a liquid feed that contains a half mix of seaweed and fish emulsion.

Ferns can be quite sensitive, so organic fertilizers are critical to making them thrive. Ferns are shallow-rooted, so mulch is important to keep the roots moist. During summer, mulching helps to keep the roots cooler, and during winter, mulching helps to keep the roots warmer. Reapply fresh mulch every spring. If you want your fern to look fresh, you can cut off old, sick-looking, or dead branches, and take them back around 15 cm from the base.

Evergreen ferns

If you want to enjoy year-round greenery, our offer on evergreen ferns is something for you. Evergreen ferns are mostly used as under-planting below larger shrubs or trees. Ferns are perfect to fill any dark spots in the garden, as almost every fern is a shade-loving plant. Just make sure that you don’t choose a completely dark place. Instead, place them in a dappled shade spot, so they can still enjoy a little sunlight.

  • Asplenium scolopendrium is fully hardy and an evergreen fern that grows long, tongue-shaped leaves. The leaves feel a bit leathery and the underside of the leaves have unique yellow ridges.
  • Dryopteris erythrosora var. prolifica is a compact evergreen fern that is ideally used in a shady border. This fern can also be grown in pots, as long as the pot is well-watered.

Hardy ferns

Ferns are absolutely great garden plants to grow in your garden in the UK. If you want to create a tropical vibe in your garden, add ferns. Here is a list of some hardy ferns we sell from our webshop.

  • Ostrich ferns are large plants that add a tropical vibe to your garden. Ostrich ferns are spread readily by runners, so give some thought to where you plant this one. The fronds are bright green and fun fact, the fiddleheads are edible. ‘The King’ is an Ostrich fern that can handle both sun and shade but needs a good water supply to thrive.
  • Royal ferns can also grow in sun and shade and have unique, delicate, bright green fronds that often have a silvery cast. This fern likes water so much, it can actually tolerate growing in standing shallow water.
  • Japanese ferns are mostly known for their beautiful coloured foliage. ‘Ghost’ has a very unique blue-silvery foliage. It grows up to 75 to 90 cm high and is among the easiest fern to grow.
  • Lady fern will love a spot in part to full shade. This deciduous perennial should not be allowed to dry out.
  • The Maidenhair fern will not survive a drought, so watering is very important. The black stems beautifully contrast with the light green foliage.
  • Hayscented ferns got their name because the fronds smell like freshly mowed hay if they’re crushed. This fern can grow in all kinds of soil types and can even survive little dry conditions once it’s established.

Ferns for shade

Most ferns are made for shade. If you have a dark, shady, damp spot in the garden that you’d like to liven up, here’s a list of ferns that you can grow in shady places.

  • Soft shield fern (Polystichum setiferum) is very adaptable, likes good drainage, and will grow up about 2 or 3 feet tall.
  • Scaly male fern (Dryopteris affinis ‘Cristata the King’ is a really majestic fern that develops distinct characteristics.
  • Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosorais) is native to Japan, China and Korea and produces triangular fronds that are bronze-pink to red when young and turn deep green when mature.

Buy ferns

If you want to buy ferns online, please select the ones you like and add them to your basket. We ship nationwide, please check our shipping costs and delivery information in your area. Garden Beauty grows its plants in 100% peat-free compost. Do you want to know more about growing peat-free plants, please go to peat-free compost. We hope you will enjoy your ferns. If you have any questions about ferns that you can’t find on our website, you can contact us on 01489 550830.

Please click here for further details on caring for your plants.