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Fern Question...

17 years ago

Off to the side of my moss garden, I've got a small fern collection started that includes Ostrich, Japanese Painted Fern, Hart's Tongue fern, Cinnamon Fern, & Maidenhair Fern. The area is almost full shade with dappled sun reaching the ferns between about 11:00-1:00 p.m. There's enough sun that the columbines that are planted in their midst bloom well.

My question is about the just doesn't seem to thrive. The fern survives but has not increased it's size in 3 seasons being a rather puny, thinly branched plant. I love these ferns & don't understand why it's not doing well.

The remainder of the ferns are thriving...the JPFs have even reproduced via spores into an adjacent area. I know the Hart's Tongue (if it doesn't reproduce this year) will die after it's second season which this is...but that Maidenhair confounds me.

Anybody know why I'm not succeeding with this fern? The soil is loaded with organic matter, moisture retentive, slightly acid (not the Hart's favorite but...oh well, it's not that one I'm concerned about).

Suggestions? Are they just ridiculously slow growing? Is it like the Hart's Tongue and wanting a less acidic environment? Does it require copious quantities of water? If that were the case, one would presume it would be growing like a week this spring yet it just sits there pouting. I'm stumped...and frustrated. Newbury Perennials has a clump of these in that big circle shade garden right in the middle of their retail sales area that I covet whenever I'm there...their climate can't be that much different, can it??? I'm in Mystic.

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