Texas Gardening forum: Fern recommendations

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Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8a)
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ricelg
Jul 16, 2017 3:43 PM CST
Gang

Any of you have personal recommendations for a good fern for 8a (just north of San Antonio) in part to mostly shady area, relatively dry conditions? I'm in the process of remaking a dreadfully awful & neglected landscape on the side of the house and I think a hardy fern would add some depth.

Thanks,
Larry
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
Jul 16, 2017 9:07 PM CST
I'm in 9a in Arizona and asparagus fern grows like crazy here. It will handle heat. You'll have to check for your cold hardiness.
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 17, 2017 9:01 AM CST
Larry,

I hope someone can help with some advice on hardy ferns. I think @LindaTX8 and @frostweed might be good sources for the information. Maybe they will see themselves tagged on the thread and chime in. So much of the hill country is alkaline and I wonder if that limits the choices without doing a lot of PH maintenance.
Donald
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Jul 17, 2017 9:41 AM CST

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I hav a Holly fern under a tree, but in the afternoon sun, and it does well without any care. I've had it there for over 25 years. Not sure which holly fern it is. There are a few called holly fern, including Japanese holly ferns. When we have a hard freeze, it disappears for a while, but eventually returns.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 17, 2017 10:36 AM CST
They neighbor's Kimberley Fern holds up nicely in the winters and grows to a nice large clump.
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 17, 2017 11:27 AM CST
Geez! There are 22 entries of ferns called 'holly ferns' and only 4 are 'cultivar' entries. I've seen some big plantings of what were called 'holly ferns' that looked really good. I'm not sure whether they were evergreen or not, but they were big ferns with dark green shiny fronds and usually planted along a foundation or public bit of landscaping. A case where a reliable source would be handy, I think.

I'm growing a fern that is winter hardy that came in one of those Wal-Mart packages where things are dead or near dead to the point they won't survive. I could see it it was trying to grow a bit and planned on using it as an annual. Then it returned the next spring and then again this spring. It seems to increase very slowly. It was sold as 'Lady Fern', but I don't think it is. At least it doesn't look like anything that's ever been pointed out to me as that. It is growing with a hosta in a cast-iron washpot which I don't bring in during the winter. It might spread more if it were planted under better circumstances. Or not.
Donald
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Jul 17, 2017 11:50 AM CST
I really don't know much about native ferns, I do have one called Wood Fern, but I see on the wildflower site that there are 5 or six wood ferns, and I don't know which one mine is.
Mine is in semi-sahde, goes dormant in the winter and it comes back in the spring.
Not much help Smiling
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Jul 17, 2017 3:26 PM CST
This one might do well in shady area:
http://www.wildflower.org/plan...
But I believe it would have to be watered from time to time when weather is dry too much.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 17, 2017 3:28 PM CST
That looks like a great plant! I might have to try it, but it would have to have some winter protection. We have a lot of info in our database here.
Southern Wood Fern (Thelypteris kunthii)
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Name: Larry
Hill Country TX (Zone 8a)
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ricelg
Jul 17, 2017 3:43 PM CST
needrain said:Larry,

I hope someone can help with some advice on hardy ferns. I think @LindaTX8 and @frostweed might be good sources for the information. Maybe they will see themselves tagged on the thread and chime in. So much of the hill country is alkaline and I wonder if that limits the choices without doing a lot of PH maintenance.


Thanks...I thought one of them had mentioned something in another thread but i couldn't find it.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 17, 2017 5:28 PM CST
I think i have Southern Wood Fern! It grows slower in the shade, takes over in full sun. It dies back every frost then returns in the spring. Been trying to get rid of it in one bed but find it near impossible to dig all of it out!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
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plantmanager
Jul 17, 2017 5:44 PM CST
That sounds like a good one for my daughter to try in her yard near Austin. She has been trying for a tropical look, but has lost a lot of plants this summer.
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Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
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Esperanza
Jul 22, 2017 1:10 PM CST
Wavy Cloak Fern (Astrolepis sinuata subsp. sinuata) is a great hardy fern. It can take full sun if watered often but really shines in the shade. When it gets dry the leaves curl up like a resurrection fern does. When watered it opens back up in a few hours. I highly recommend this fern Thumbs up

Edit to add. It has been an evergreen for me through the winters for three or so years now.
[Last edited by Esperanza - Jul 22, 2017 1:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2017 1:28 PM CST
How tall does Wavy Cloak Fern get? There are some native ferns here that hide under some limestone outcrops. They are very attractive, but they grow in such a protected place and only get about 10" high under the conditions where I've seen them. I've never tried to relocate one to see what it might do under more or less cultivated conditions. There just aren't very many of them and I'd hate to risk endangering the small population by attempting that. Those outcroppings are extremely dry locations, so one problem with growing ferns here wouldn't be an issue, maybe.
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jul 22, 2017 1:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
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Esperanza
Jul 22, 2017 2:44 PM CST
@needrain Can you take a picture? 10-15 inches is the size I have depending on how harsh of a spot I put them in. I went Topaz hunting in Mason and came across a large sized grouping of these in the same kind of outcropping you are talking about by a river bed. I dug up very carefully a very small portion to take home and it did not make it. I felt awful and should have left them alone. But..... I also found some on a rock cliff in full sun on my way through Llano and brought some home and it did great. If you do decide to try relocating some just take a small amount and try to not disturb the roots of the ones you are leaving. I have tried this with maiden hair fern on our land in a seasonal creek bed with mixed results. Oh, that's another good one. Maiden Hair fern. Very pretty too! The root systems can go very deep and wide in the limestone crevices for them to survive in such xeric conditions. I actually found some wavy cloak fern being sold at ACE hardware of all places.

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