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Ferns are among the oldest plants on earth. There are dozens of varieties, all grown for their spectacular lacey green foliage. They grow primarily in the shade but will tolerate some sun, especially if kept well watered. Some types of ferns can grow to 5 feet; most reach 2 to 3 feet. They spread easily to form beautiful clumps of plants whose fronds sway in the wind. Ferns can also make wonderful house plants. The following should be considered when buying ferns:

  • Make sure the variety will survive the winters and summers where you live if you want to grow it outdoors.
  • Select the height and spread appropriate for the site to be planted.
  • The plant should have healthy looking green fronds and vigorous roots.

Plant ferns in a hole about 1 foot wide and 2 feet deep in well drained soil to which some organic material such as decomposed leaves or peat moss has been added. Water well, especially the first season. Once established they will come back year after year with very little care. Ferns will turn beautiful

shades of yellow in the fall and die to the ground in winter but will reliably return in the spring. House plant ferns can be placed outside in the summer and should be brought indoors fom mid fall until all danger of frost is past the next spring.

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