Kimberly Fern - Knowledgebase Question

Pensacola, FL
Avatar for brendajrop
Question by brendajrop
May 21, 2007
I purchased two ferns that the nursery worker said were Kimberly Ferns, I was drawn to these because they had them on display stating they can tolerate the sun (which is one reason why I purchased them, because my luck with ferns has been a disaster, because where I will like to plant them gets too much sun. I would like to put them in the ground instead of a container, can you tell me what I need to do the soil area, and how to take care of them as far as how often to water, fertilize and when.

Answer from NGA
May 21, 2007

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Kimberly Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata) also known as Australian sword fern is a fairly new tropical fern on the market that has grown rapidly in popularity. It has a more upright growth habit that its cousin the Boston fern. It also tolerates more sun although full sun is too much. It can tolerate indoor conditions so you can overwinter it inside if you like.

Some gardeners have overwintered them in the ground in protected locations successfully. Don't remove the fronds until the danger of freezes has past as they will help insulate and protect the base of the plant. Mulch around the plants for extra protection.

Mix several inches of peat or compost into the soil prior to planting. Most ferns while needing moisture will rot in soggy, poorly aerated soil conditions. Fertilize with a liquid plant food every month during the growing season. Allow the plants to dry out just slightly between waterings.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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