Boston Fern in the Landscape – Fishtail Ferns and Beyond

Many people put in their landscape some type of fern. Ferns just make the landscaping even more complete and gorgeous, single plants, clumped together, utilized as ground cover and even in rock gardens. Fern are green or shades of green, don’t look for different colors for accents, or flowers, fruits, or seeds. Ferns do offer a wide variety of textures and looks.

So why do people plant them?

Many fern lovers place use ferns in the landscape to add some green while not worrying about berries other plants may produce that could potentially be harmful for local wildlife or neighborhood children. Their beauty helps make any corner of the landscape look beautiful.

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Low Sunlight – A Big Plus

A big plus in using ferns in the understory of landscapes is their low requirement for sunlight allowing you to brighten up and make a dark unattractive spot look lush and beautiful. Ferns make a wonderful bed under large trees.

To add ferns into your landscape plan, think of using them in any area you know is moist and sheltered and if you have an area already with plenty of flowers, ferns can dress up the area and make the spot look better.

Most ferns don’t require lots of fertilizer or plant food, just good moisture in the soil, suitable temperatures, and enough light for photosynthesis. Keep your garden of ferns in an area close to your home or under a tree to provide plenty of moisture.

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As for temperature, you can purchase ferns that will grow practically anywhere. Some ferns like traditional ‘Boston fern’ or ‘Fishtail fern’ can handle full sun but many don’t want to be in direct sunlight. Generally you want ferns to be located where they can get sunlight a few hours of the day, but sheltered a little from the sunlight.


Often, people use ferns in areas hidden from the sun most of the day. They place ferns and other flowers that do not like direct sunlight in flowerbeds or planters to give the area some comfort, and to make a dark spot of the yard look lively. Perfect for the backyard near the house and a great addition for patios and porches.

Using ferns in pots or baskets is also an option. New varieties like Blechnum ‘Silver Lady’® with an almost palm-like appearance make excellent potted specimens.

Get green and add some ferns to your landscape today!

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