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5 Tips for Front Porch Ferns

3 min read | May 11, 2016 | Plants 

I can’t have ferns on my front porch. As a born and bred Southerner, that’s hard to admit. Fern-flanked porches are a staple of the Southern landscape.

While our front porch faces due South and a beautiful Boston Fern can’t take the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, you better believe our shady back patio is filled with the luscious green fronds in pots and hanging baskets! Given the proper care, ferns are surprisingly easy to care for and grow. 

Here are a few tips for adding ferns to your porch.

1. Select The Right Fern

fern with hydrangeas

Boston Ferns and Kimberly Queen Ferns are the most popular selections for porches. Depending on the look you desire, you’ll want to purchase the right fern.

Boston Ferns are great in hanging baskets or on plant stands because of the gentle weeping nature of the vibrant green fronds. Kimberly Queen Ferns have more rigid, upright fronds and are perfect in pots flanking a pathway or entrance.

2. Place In Indirect Light

Ferns prefer bright, indirect light. A few hours of morning sun or gently filtered light through the cover of trees is the perfect scenario. 

If you have full sun on your front porch, check to see if your side or back porch would provide a less harsh environment for your plants. At our garden center, we can help you find a different plant to better tolerate the full sun.

3. Water Your Fern Regularly

ferns on a front porch

Ferns like moisture. Keep in mind that their natural habitat is under the shady, wet canopy of a rainforest. Consistent and evenly moist soil is essential to maintain a bright green, healthy glow. 

Your watering schedule will depend on how you plant your fern. If you choose to place your fern in a hanging basket or pot, remember that they can dry out quickly. Soil should be kept damp but not wet to the touch. Check your fern daily at first to determine the frequency with which you’ll need to water your ferns.

4. Fertilize Monthly

entrance fernsFerns like a monthly dose of plant food, especially in the warmer months. Choose a water-soluble, nitrogen-rich fertilizer for best results. If you need assistance selecting the right fertilizer, visit us at Fairview Garden center and we would be happy to help!

5. Follow These Overwinter Steps

Ferns are tropical plants and will not tolerate cold outdoor temperatures. To maintain your fern’s evergreen color, you can try to overwinter your fern by cutting it back in the fall and placing it in a light-filled area indoors.  

Location, humidity, and water are essential for an attempt at overwintering. Remember that even a dormant fern likes moisture and a heated home can dry out a plant quickly. Give your plant a good soaking in the shower a few times throughout the winter months.

Add Ferns To Your Porch Today

We hope you’re feeling excited about adding ferns to your Southern porch! Check out a few fern styling ideas here.

Give us a call at 919-851-6821 or send us a message here if you want to learn more, or stop by any time. We’re always happy to help you locate the perfect plant for your yard!