Ferns forum: cutting them back?

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Name: Lori
Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas
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tallulah210
Mar 18, 2015 8:23 AM CST
Do any of you cut back your ferns each year in the spring? I saw a video that said to do this just wondered if it helps?
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 18, 2015 8:40 AM CST
I don't cut them back, but I have sawed hanging baskets of ferns into quarters and repotted them into four new baskets. Doesn't seem to phase them.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 18, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Many ferns will get extremely pot-bound from just a single season, so dividing those root-balls, allowing for new roots to grow, invigorates the plants.
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Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Apr 12, 2015 12:08 PM CST
I agree I cut back the dead and bad looking foliage once the new broth begins every year. And repot every few years. I was told not to cut back my birds nest fern, but it was taking up so much room in the winter inside, I cut back every leaf....didn't hurt it one bit, they put new leaves from the middle anyway, now two years later it's bigger than ever! Hurray!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 12, 2015 2:27 PM CST
Thumbs up
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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 13, 2015 8:49 AM CST
When my garden was still a dump we also had several clumps of ferns almost a decade old. They never got cut back in winter or spring, the old foliage just rotted away without any problems for the plant itself. When I dug them out during the rescape of the garden last year I kept a few and planted them in a tin barrel. It was midsummer and I cut ALL the foliage away. They rebounced within two weeks and grew on 'till the first frost. After that I cut all the dead frons off. We'll see how that works when they begin again. So far it doesn't seem to have hurt them because the still unfolded frons are nice and firm.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Apr 15, 2015 4:42 AM CST
we cut every one of our ferns back as low as possible, regardless of the variety. we cover them with a two inch layer of compost, and call it good. apparently they love it because every one of them comes back like gangbusters!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Apr 15, 2015 6:55 AM CST
Thumbs up
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 15, 2015 9:09 AM CST
I have never cut back my ferns, didn't know I was suppose to. I just watched a short video and it explained the reason to cut back the ferns was so that when the new growth comes out later in the year it will not be mixed in with the tired looking old growth. The video suggested Valentines day as a good time to cut back all the ferns.
Most of my ferns, being they are grown outside in the garden don't really need cutting back because the old fronds just sort of naturally fade away.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Apr 15, 2015 9:42 AM CST
There might not be much noticeable die-back when grown in the ground, in the landscape. Grown in pots, all that old, dried, brown growth stands out for quite a long time.
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Apr 20, 2015 5:52 PM CST
Thumbs up Thumbs up I agree I cut my ferns back in the spring also, all the dead stuff,and if it needs to be repotted, that is when I do it. It will encourage new growth after that long winter's nap!
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Oct 24, 2015 8:44 PM CST
Thumb of 2015-10-25/Suga/3f3933
Thumb of 2015-10-25/Suga/f02e9d

The first picture of my Petticoat Fern was after it had been cut back in Febuary. It was taken in April. The last picture is how it looks now. (October ). I don't think cutting it back hurt it at all. Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 25, 2015 8:16 AM CST
Ferns do best when cut back/divided every year.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Nov 17, 2015 9:15 AM CST
When I bring my ferns in for the winter because of space I cut them back by about a third. It doesn't seem to bother them at all. I live in zone 8b
Name: Mike
Mountain View, Hawaii
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microb
Nov 30, 2015 6:12 PM CST
I was reading this thread and had to smile. Yes, I do cut my fern back at least twice a year. But now I need a step ladder to do it.

I hope I picked the right photo. The Hawaiian Hapuu ferns grow really slow but some are 6 - 8 feet tall. The Australian green fern grow rapidly. I have a couple close to 20 ft tall - too tall to trim. The photo is a Hapuu.
Thumb of 2015-12-01/microb/3b343c

Name: Mike
Mountain View, Hawaii
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microb
Nov 30, 2015 6:14 PM CST
sorry, not a very good photo. I will try again and repost more sometime but you can see the frond stumps I think.

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