Ferns are hearty and have few pest or disease issues
Ferns can be a wonderful addition to any garden that has a bit of shade. “They are easy to grow,” says Mike Walker, a licensed horticulturist with Wilton’s Hoffman Landscapes, “and because they are a native plant, ferns have few if any pests or diseases. Ferns are also extremely versatile and tolerant of many soil types.” We asked Walker for a few of his favorites for our area:
Autumn Fern thrives in full shade. This fern initially displays coppery red fronds, which eventually mature to deep green as the season progresses. In the photo shown here it is paired with red astilbe.
Hayscented Fern thrives in rich, moist soil in shade, but with adequate moisture it will tolerate full sun. Another benefit: it spreads on its own, achieving a height of about two feet.
Cinnamon Fern is distinctive in spring when cinnamon colored spikes emerge from the center. An excellent choice to plant near a stream.
Lady Fern exhibits a lovely red shade on new fiddleheads. It is slow-growing and also does well as a potted plant.
Japanese Painted Fern is colorful! Some varieties have fronds that are tinged a silvery grey and others come “painted” in shades of burgundy. They make great companion plants for blue shades of hosta.