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How to Grow Bracken Ferns

Bracken ferns are hardy ferns that can tolerate most sun and shade conditions, but prefer partial shade. They are prevalent out in the wild in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 11 and are often the first plant to appear after a forest fire. There are several varieties of bracken ferns that tolerate different climate conditions, including Southern, Western and Eastern Brackens. Bracken ferns are dangerous for livestock to eat in large quantities, so do not plant near grazing animals.

Select an area of your garden or yard that is isolated because bracken ferns will absorb and use much of the water and nutrients needed by other plants and flowers. Keep ferns at least several feet away from other plants, flowers and even grasses. Plant bracken ferns under trees where grass and other plants cannot survive.

  • Bracken ferns are hardy ferns that can tolerate most sun and shade conditions, but prefer partial shade.
  • There are several varieties of bracken ferns that tolerate different climate conditions, including Southern, Western and Eastern Brackens.

Prepare the soil. Bracken ferns like well draining, acidic soil, so add some compost or sand to your soil, if necessary.

Dig a hole that is as deep, but two times a wide as the rhizome (plant root). Place the rhizome in the center of the hole and spread out the roots. Cover the rhizome and fill the hole with the soil removed. Water it in.

Keep bracken ferns watered until they are established. However, they should not need supplemental waterings unless drought conditions exist.

  • Bracken ferns like well draining, acidic soil, so add some compost or sand to your soil, if necessary.
  • Place the rhizome in the center of the hole and spread out the roots.

Control bracken ferns by keeping them mowed or clipped back when they become overgrown. In addition, dig up entire plants as they multiply and grow larger. Be sure to get the whole rhizome, which can be several feet long.

Grow Ferns In A Greenhouse

Ferns generally don't thrive with the full sunlight provided by a greenhouse, so cut down the amount of light that gets in by using a shade cloth. A shade cloth stretches over the top of your greenhouse, blocking a certain percentage of the sunlight that reaches it. Choose your growing containers. Choose 8- to 12-inch hanging baskets or 4- to 8-inch pots, and be sure the containers provide adequate drainage. Ferns grow well in a well-draining potting medium, and many commercially available, soilless potting mixes can produce a good fern crop in a greenhouse. Avoid compacting the soil around the plants.

  • Control bracken ferns by keeping them mowed or clipped back when they become overgrown.
  • Ferns generally don't thrive with the full sunlight provided by a greenhouse, so cut down the amount of light that gets in by using a shade cloth.

Grow Ferns In A Greenhouse

Ferns generally don't thrive with the full sunlight provided by a greenhouse, so cut down the amount of light that gets in by using a shade cloth. A shade cloth stretches over the top of your greenhouse, blocking a certain percentage of the sunlight that reaches it. Choose your growing containers. Choose 8- to 12-inch hanging baskets or 4- to 8-inch pots, and be sure the containers provide adequate drainage. Ferns grow well in a well-draining potting medium, and many commercially available, soilless potting mixes can produce a good fern crop in a greenhouse. Avoid compacting the soil around the plants.

  • Control bracken ferns by keeping them mowed or clipped back when they become overgrown.
  • Ferns generally don't thrive with the full sunlight provided by a greenhouse, so cut down the amount of light that gets in by using a shade cloth.
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