Ferns are a large and diverse group of plants with a wide range of life stages. They are distinguished from other vascular plants by their lack of seeds, stems, or leaves. They also have no specialised reproductive structures, such as flowers or fruit. The name “fern” is derived from the Latin word fera, meaning “to bear,” because ferns were thought to resemble bears’ paws or claws.
As with most vascular plants, ferns are multicellular organisms that reproduce utilising spores and spores only. Fern spores are produced in whorls on “fern leaves” called fronds. The arrangement of these fronds is characteristic of each species and can be used to identify them.
Ferns: Quick facts
|Mature Size||Ferns can grow from 1–1.2 cm tall to 10 to 25 metres tall|
|Benefits||As well as enhancing indoor air quality, ferns also improve humidity levels by naturally restoring moisture to the air.|
Habitat and distribution of Ferns
Ferns are a diverse group of plants that can be found in a variety of habitats, from swamps to deserts to montane forests. They are the oldest vascular plants and colonise almost every type of terrestrial habitat. The most common group is the clubmosses, which are often considered “ferns” but do not have true fern leaves or fronds.
There are over 10,000 species of ferns worldwide, distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics in almost every habitat except for tundra regions and high mountains such as Mount Everest. Those in temperate regions include many deciduous species that drop their leaves during winter or early springtime, except for those that live in moist environments such as marshes or swamps, where they remain green year-round.
How to grow Ferns
Ferns are a great addition to your home or office, but they can be tricky to grow. Here’s how to get started.
- Determine what type of fern you want to grow: You can choose from three different types: sword, tree, and evergreen. Choose the kind that will fit in with your décor or the space you have available.
- Look for a spot for it: Ferns like shady spots and well-draining soil, so look for an area where there is at least 6 hours of sun exposure every day and no more than four hours of sun on hotter days. If you find a spot with both types of conditions, great. But if not, do not worry; the ferns will still do well in either situation.
- Plant the seeds: Use a plate or saucer to place some soil on top of the potting mix so that when you plant your seedlings, they will be able to root themselves deep into the soil without disturbing any existing vegetation first (which could lead to problems later on). Then place your seeds onto the soil right away so they can begin sprouting within just a few days.
- Fertilise: Fertilise your ferns with slow-release fertiliser every two weeks, starting with a small amount of fertiliser and gradually increasing the amount until you reach the desired level. Be sure to check your soil moisture level at least once a week so you can determine how much water your plant needs at any given time.
Maintenance Tips for Ferns
If you are looking to grow ferns, you may be wondering how to do it. You can start by finding a place in your yard that is well-drained and cool. Ferns need moist soil and direct sunlight, so make sure the soil is not too dry.
Fertilise your ferns every few weeks with fish emulsion or liquid fertiliser, which will help them grow faster and more lushly. Water your ferns regularly since they do not like being dry. As long as you keep the soil moist and give them food regularly, your ferns will thrive!
Planting your ferns is best done in spring or fall. After all, you would not want your plants to freeze. Just make sure they get plenty of water during their first year of growth.
When choosing where to plant your ferns, try not to place them too close to concrete or other hard surfaces where they might be damaged by debris from cars or lawnmowers. You should also make sure there aren’t any weeds nearby because those can compete for nutrients with your plants.
Uses of Ferns
Ferns have been used by humans for hundreds of years in many different cultures around the world. Although some people may consider them just ornamental garden plants, others consider them important members of the natural ecosystems because they provide habitat for other species that help maintain biodiversity.
It is a great idea to decorate your home with ferns. Whether they are tucked into gorgeous designer pots or hanging pots on the balcony, the plants look absolutely gorgeous.
They also serve as your natural air purifier. The Boston fern is one example of a fern that has air-purifying properties. It helps in restoring humidity in your home while removing harmful toxins.
Ferns are important because they provide food for many different types of animals, including birds, insects, spiders, frogs, salamanders, mice and small mammals such as deer.
Can ferns grow in the sun or the shade?
It is most common for ferns to live in shady areas where they receive some sun during the daytime.
What is a fern plant?
A fern is a plant without flowers that reproduces by producing spores.
What is the recommended watering schedule for ferns?
Weekly watering is recommended for ferns.
Is fern a low-maintenance plant?
Compared to other plants, ferns require relatively minimal maintenance.