Are your ferns looking old and tired? I’ll show you how easy it is to cut back your ferns for a fresh new look and an even healthier plant.
Ferns are a very common outdoor plant here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). They can be found in the shade where they thrive.
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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that worked for me along the way.
Ferns have fronds, rather than leaves, which last for only a year or so. The older fronds start to die back and turn brown while the new ones grow in. Cutting off the old growth will refresh the plant and leave you with only beautiful new fronds.
Cutting Back Your Outdoor Fern
Outdoor evergreen ferns should be cut down every year. Using sharp pruners, cut the fern fronds down to the ground. Late winter or early spring is the best timing, before the new fronds start to emerge. I usually cut them down sometime in March.
Make every effort not to damage any new fronds when pruning the plant. Once the new fronds start growing in, it will be even harder to cut the old growth out of the plant
Once all of the fronds are cut down, small “curled fist” or “knuckles” start forming at the base of the plant. Each of those fists will unfurl delicate fronds, forming a fresh new plant.
There is only one drawback to cutting the ferns down to the ground every year. The plant will look less than appealing for a couple of weeks to a month, depending on when you cut it.
Cut back any fronds with pest infestation or disease to the base of the plant throughout the year. If the entire plant is unhealthy, cut it back to the ground so the disease does not spread.
By cutting your outdoor evergreen ferns to the ground each year, the fronds should look green and healthy all the way through the winter months.
I hope these tips on cutting back your outdoor evergreen ferns has helped. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.
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