Is growing Maidenhair Ferns easy?
I was speaking with a client this week who was lamenting the fact that another maidenhair fern had died.
He wasn’t really happy when I said that he had probably killed the fern with kindness!
Whenever ferns come up as a gardening topic, I am amazed at how many people think that, because they look fragile they must be difficult to grow. It is a myth that is perpetuated on several blogs and websites.
This really couldn’t be further from the truth. Providing you give them the conditions they need to grow, Maidenhair ferns are easy to grow.
Mind you it’s easy to say that now, but there was a time when I had maidenhair ferns die on me too. That was in the days when I used to pamper them before I learnt the “treat them mean” philosophy!
They like light. Don’t try and grow them in too dark an area!
Many people try and grow Maidenhair ferns, and other ferns, in situations where they don’t get enough light.
Maidenhair ferns generally don’t do well in direct sunlight, but give them enough diffuse light and keep them barely moist, they will generally be pretty happy.
Depending on your location, Maidenhair ferns will grow outside in semi-shade, providing they are protected from the summer heat. In fact, they grow quite well in shady spots in normal garden soil in Brisbane.
Don’t overfeed or overwater
Many gardeners also tend to provide the ferns with too much water and too much fertiliser!
As I said, there was a time when I had maidenhair ferns die on me too. Now, instead of killing them, I have almost the opposite problem. If they weren’t so attractive they could almost be considered a weed at my place. They self-seed everywhere, turning up in a lot of pots and they just grow!
The only thing that saves them is that they don’t need much food and they don’t seem to compete with the host plants!
They also grow in between cracks in the cement, along with Holly ferns and painted lady ferns.
In fact, one Holly fern has planted itself in a mop head from a squeegee mop that I left in water for too long while I was trying to clean it. My cleaning lady finds this fascinating, and it probably explains why I need a cleaning lady in the first place
So, if you are thinking of giving Mum a potted plant for Mother’s Day, don’t ignore the beautiful Maidenhair ferns. Just be sure and point Mum to this Blog for advice on How to Keep them Alive.
Rohanne, your Personal Gardening Expert