Help Your Ferns Beat the Heat

caring for ferns in the heat

Summer heat and dry days mean your ferns need a little extra TLC.

The temperature is up in the 90s, and we are running around with the hose trying to keep everything in the garden watered. Remember, if ferns wilt in the heat due to lack of water, the stems crimp, and those fronds will never stand erect again. So, keep the roots well watered. If your clumps collapse in the heat, fresh fronds produced later will stand tall until challenged by another dry spell.

To see great ferns grown in huge drifts of a single species, visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens fern glade. The fern glade volunteers know their ferns, and give great advice on growing ferns. My personal favorite is Autumn Fern, with bronze colored new foliage and pretty good sun tolerance.
Today, I spent a little time caring for ferns by removing damaged and sunburned fronds. I watered last evening to get plenty of water to my fern collection. I am still looking for that rain.

Mike Rushing

Mike and Paula Rushing have been gardening in St. Clair county since 1990, and In Forest Park since 2007. A Jefferson County Master Gardener and course instructor at Master Gardening classes, Mike also volunteers weekly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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