Sodding Suggestions- Native Ostrich Ferns

Ostrich FernMatteuccia struthiopteris



Scientific Name: Matteuccia struthiopteris

Common Name: Ostrich Fern

Hardiness: USDA zone 3 – 7

How Sold: In bunches.  Contact us today to purchase some for your yard project!

Landscape Use: Ferns are lovely with other shade-lovers such as Alchemilla, Brunnera (False Forget-me-not), Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Hosta, Mertensia (Virginia Bluebells), Phlox divaricata, Pulmonaria (Lungwort), Tiarella (Foam Flower), and Viola. They add fabulous texture to woodlands and landscape plantings.

Description: Indispensable for shady areas, these delicate plants make the hottest summer day seem cooler. Most Ferns are slow growing and can take several years to reach their mature size, which can vary greatly.

Planting Instructions: Ferns prefer soils high in organic matter that are well-drained but do not dry out. Most will tolerate poor soils and a pH of 4 to 7. Dig saucer shaped hole. The depth is determined by measuring the height of the roots from root flare to bottom. The width is 2-3 times the root ball diameter. Plant the root ball with the growing tips just barely showing through the loose soil surface. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Ferns are notoriously slow to send up new growth after planting, but good things come to those who wait.

Care & Maintenance: Early Spring: Divide or transplant as soon as new growth appears, and water well if it is unseasonably dry, as plants prefer an evenly moist soil. Fertilize gently with a slow-release fertilizer or use an organic mulch. Recently planted Ferns may be slow to appear but be patient. Mid-Spring: Water consistently if rainfall is not sufficient to keep soil moist. Apply a 2″ thick mulch of composted leaves or pine needles. Late SpringWatch for slug or snail damage and treat as necessary. Summer: Continue regular watering as needed to maintain soil moisture. FallCut foliage back to soil level when it dies back after a heavy frost. When the ground freezes, mulch to protect plants from heaving out of the soil in winter.

Diseases & Pests: None serious enough to worry about, other than the occasional slug attack. Fight back with bait or diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the base of the fronds. Ferns are deer-resistant, so they make an excellent choice for a woodland garden where deer are a problem.





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