6+ tips you need to know for maintaining ferns

Ferns always look most comfortable in a woodland setting, but they grow just as well in your yard, garden, or living room. And while there are thousands of species of ferns, ranging in size from less than one inch to over twelve feet, they all have one thing in common—they do not produce either flowers or seeds but reproduce by spores.
One of the most recognizable plants because of their fronds, ferns are not hard to grow and care for as long as you know the specific variety you have. Here are six tips for keeping the most popular varieties healthy, whether you grow them outside or in the house.
1. Keep them moist
Ferns prefer soil that is evenly moist. Regular watering prevents the soil from drying out and stressing the plants. Whether you are having ferns as part of your landscaping or interior decorating, they will appreciate moist soil.
2. Mulch your outdoors ferns
Finely shredded leaves work well as a mulch for ferns because they mirror the conditions of a forest floor and help to retain the moisture that the plants need. Replenish the mulch every spring.
3. Be careful when weeding
Because ferns typically have shallow roots, you need to be cautious when weeding around them. This is especially important during early spring when fiddleheads (young fern fronds) are emerging.
4. No feeding or special winter care necessary
Ferns usually don't require supplemental feeding. Just add compost to the original planting hole and use leaf mulch. That should be sufficient.
As far as winter care, you don't need to cut back your ferns or do anything else. Just do a spring cleanup around the plants when the fiddleheads show up.
5. Select a good location indoors
Lots of running water in bathrooms and kitchens make them good indoor locations for ferns. In other rooms, you can add a humidifier or use moistened moss around the base of the plant. Keep ferns away from southern or western-facing windows, and place them far from fans and vents to prevent them from drying out.
6. Use double containers
Double containers can help maintain moisture levels. Plant the fern in a terra-cotta pot, and place that pot in a larger decorative container. Stuff moistened sheet moss between the two containers. Terra-cotta transfers moisture to the plant. Place more moss on top to hide the terra-cotta pot and moss between the pots.

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