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Four Types of Ferns You Can Add To Your Garden

Did you know that some types of ferns can be red, purple, or even copper in color? Or that some ferns spread rapidly, some gradually, and some don’t spread at all?

I’ve learned this and more about ferns recently. That’s one of the great things about being a Minnetrista gardener—I learn new things every day. 

There are many different ferns growing throughout the gardens at Minnetrista. They work well in shady gardens, such as the Colonnade and Courtyard Gardens in Oakhurst. Dry periods in the summer can cause these moisture-lover’s foliage to brown, so we cut the discolored parts out to improve their appearance. Watering can help keep them looking good too.

Interested in adding ferns to your garden? Here are a few to try!  

1. Regal Red Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponimun pictum)
Once established, this red-stemmed fern tolerates dry periods better than others. We will be adding it to the Colonnade Garden this summer.

Japanese Painted Fern, Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Dryopteridaceae

2. Burgundy Lace Japanese Painted Fern
Another Japanese Painted Fern, ‘Burgundy Lace’ has frosted purple fronds. It is more tolerant to heat and the sun than other ferns, which is why it is perfect, located by the side door to the Oakhurst home.


3. Dixie Wood Fern (Dryopteris x australis
This four- to five-feet tall fern can be found in the Colonnade Garden. It’s one of my favorites. If you want a fern that won’t spread, try this one. It’s sterile and clump forming.


4. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)

This delicate, uniquely shaped fern grows in both the Sunken Garden and the Courtyard Garden in Oakhurst. It will spread slowly by rhizomes over time.


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I encourage you to stop by and see some of Minnetrista’s ferns. Your interest may be captured by something new. Let me know what you like, or if you have a favorite fern that you grow at your house.