Ferns in garden pond

topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)July 22, 2013

I am turning a bog into a small shady pond. I plan to try ferns in pots in the pond...Royal fern, mostly. Should I take it out before winter and let it sit dryer? I have one in a pot that did fine sitting on the patio all winter. I will keep a pond heater, so the pond won't have a chance to freeze, not that its likely anyway in our climate (famous last words.) I read Beth Chatto's book and she said bog's are difficult because they freeze in winter and many plants can't survive that. My bog was a flop, so I'm doing a proper pond.

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I've never tried a fern, but if It doesn't work you'll know not to try it again. That's how most of us learn. They do grow in moist woodlands so it might.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 6:59PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I used to live above a natural bog or marsh fed by an artesian well. I often tried to slog through it looking for various things. There were lots of ferns throughout the marsh areas but they were not growing where their roots would be in the water. Even in areas where they were surrounded by water, they were on hillocks above the actual surface of the water, no matter how soggy that hillock might be. At another house there was a very boggy water shed for the neighborhood. Lots of ferns but nothing actually in the water.

My guess is that you could grow them on the shoreline, just above the marginals.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:14AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

There are a whole bunch of aquatic ferns but most that I'm aware of are tropical in origin.. have you thought of Carniverous plants?? Most of them require cool/cold dormant periods as well as water so would be ideal for you. Most of the pitcher plants as well as the venus fly trap
should do well in your area. A gazillion to choose from and certainly some of the most interesting plants for sure!!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 4:13AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

I have a clump of royal fern I dug up from the wild and have growing in a large pot without any drainage. During the summer due to all the rain we get here in florida the pot almost alwasy has 3-4 inches of water in it and the base of the ferns are submerged. So far they are still growing. The area that I dug them up from routinly floods, submerging the ferns at least partly under water. That being said I don't know if the royal ferns that I have are the same as what you have.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 1:02PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey karalynn. It is possible that the ferns are differently acclimated. A few years ago I tried very hard to transfer some ferns collected in central Florida to Indiana. Despite using a half dozen different methods, none of them lasted more than that season. I'm usually pretty good at that. On the other hand, ferns purchased here from a grower who comes up every summer from Florida, do pretty well. She says she doesn't grow anything but the common stock purchased, selected and grown for this area.

A lot of the problem is the soil. Florida sand, Indiana clay. Seems to me I remember Alabama having a lot of red clay, but I could be wrong. Ferns still do best in mostly oak leaf mould so far as I can tell. Florida's ferns have some strange adaptations from what I saw.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 5:15AM
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