Ferns are among the oldest of living plants. They are flowerless and seedless which means they do the sex thing differently to flowering plants.
Ferns have a vascular system comprising of both xylem and phloem which transports water and nutrients, so most ferns need a moist environment for fertilisation to occur.
It would be fair to say that we all think of ferns being plants for those damp and shady positions and this is mostly true but perhaps for different reasons than we think. As with many plant genera, ferns have evolved to suit differing environments and whilst a fern may grow quite happily in a dry or sunny position this environment may not suit its reproduction cycle.
Ferns generally like the protection of a canopy which will protect them from frost and keep them in the moist conditions that they love.
Situation – Plant in shaded or partly-shaded areas; avoid planting in windy conditions or full sunlight.
Water -. Ferns are moisture loving plants – do not allow to dry out.
Feeding – In spring add well-rotted compost or a slow release fertiliser around the base of the plants. Epsom Salts diluted in water is said to help the leaves maintain their dark rich dark green colour.
Pruning – trim off dead or leafless fronds at the crown, to keep appearance lush, generally these plants need very little attention.
Asplenium Bulbiferum Hen and Chicken Fern
Asplenium Maori Princess Hen and Chicken Fern
Blechnum Discolour Crown Fern, Pui Pui
Blechnum Silver Lady Crown Fern (see photo above)
Cyathea Dealbata Silver Fern, Ponga
Dicksonia Squarrosa Brown Ponga
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: