While their delicate fronds might give the impression that ferns are needy customers that need pampering, many are hardy, tough, and pretty much carefree as long as they get the near-constant moisture and well-draining soil they crave. Luckily, these are conditions that are easy to provide in containers. As you begin to move outside to enjoy the shade of the porch, terrace, or patio, think about adding graceful, airy ferns to your plantings. Here are a few ideas for designing with them.
(See how this porch from Martha Stewart Living came together.)
FROM BOXES TO HANGING PLANTERS, FERNS BRING SHADY SPACES TO LIFE
A jumble of various ferns is one of classiest (and simplest) ways to fill a vertical wall planter. Ferns appreciate constant moisture so be sure to find a unit that has an easy way to water.
If it loves shade, it’ll probably pair with ferns. Moisture-loving coral bells and annual coleus are ideal choices.
Keeping Hardy Ferns Happy
- Full to partial shade.
- Easily grown in humus-rich, well-drained soil.
- Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season.
- Do not allow ferns to dry out between waterings.
- Feed regularly during growing season with a general purpose fertilizer.
- Top containers with a 1-in. deep layer of mulch to help hold soil moisture.
<——–While we love to play with combos, there’s plenty of power in the simplicity of a grouping of one plant in simple pots.
We love this abundant hanging basket with two types of ferns plus perennials and trailing ivy. Great from spring to first frost!