Graceful, tall fern fronds

How to grow ferns

Learn how to grow all kinds of ferns, with advice on planting, care and cutting back, in our practical Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do not Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

Ferns are well loved by gardeners. It’s easy to see why – the dramatic unfurling of new fern fronds in spring is one of the highlights of the new gardening season. There’s a fantastic range of evergreen and deciduous ferns to choose from. Hardy ferns work well in many garden situations while tender types make wonderful house plants or terrarium specimens. Some ferns are suited for shade and others for full sun – make sure you choose the right fern for the right spot.

How to grow ferns

Choose the right spot for your fern, ensuring you have a shade-loving fern for a shady spot and a sun-loving fern for a sunny location. Most ferns thrive in a moist but well-drained, alkaline soil, although others prefer an acidic medium. Remove dead or damaged fronds from perennial ferns in spring.

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