fern - Knowledgebase Question

los Angeles, Ca
Question by chiowchang
March 19, 2010
Question(1): where in los angeles can i buy the hardiest fern that can take full sun? - a fern that resembles the look of Tasmania fern.

Question (2): what low growing plant has big leaves and can take a lot of sun (other than sago palm)?

Answer from NGA
March 19, 2010


Low growing plants with large leaves are difficult to come by! Alocasia (Elephant's Ear) will grow in full sunshine. While most ferns need shade and high humidity to survive, there are two common ferns that grow well in full sun and dryish soil.

One is Thelypteris kunthii (Southern Shield Fern). It is happiest in loose, rich soil and, while it appreciates moisture at its roots, it will also tolerate a great deal of drought. Like most ferns, it is deciduous, dying back in the winter and returning each spring.

The other sun-loving fern is Dryopteris ludoviciana, or Florida Shield Fern. It enjoys the same conditions as Southern Shield Fern but is a bit more cold-hardy and can be evergreen in sheltered areas during a mild winters. It also needs rich and loose soil to do its best.

Both of these ferns spread by underground rhizomes so you can look forward to larger clumps each year.

I'm afraid I can't point you to a source in the Los Angeles area. Try phoning your local garden centers and nurseries to locate these plants.

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