Ferns in Northern Florida
Florida is definitely known as the land of ferns. More ferns are grown here than any other state of the continental U.S. The southern part of the state gives us a selection of tropical ferns like the bird nest fern, the black tree fern, and the American tree fern. But the ferns found in the northern part of the state are very much like those of the northern United States.
Ferns can easily be overlooked when planning the landscape. But they should not be. They bring a sense of coolness, and calm with their feathery fronds. They do well in groupings as ground cover, and for filling general areas.
Most ferns require soil that is rich with humus or peat. You can fertilize in the spring. Most ferns prefer moisture. If the leaves wilt, they seldom will recover, just trim off from the bottom.
Some native ferns are the giant leather fern, Venus's or southern maidenhair fern, ebony spleenwort, swamp fern, long stem alder's tongue, cinnamon fern, royal fern, Christmas fern, pineland brake, and the Wildenow's maiden fern.
Ferns that will tolerate the most light are lady fern, dwarftree fern, holly fern, autumn fern, shield fern, Japanese climbing fern, sensitive fern, cinnamon fern, royal fern, fassel fern, bracken fern, leatherleaf fern, southern shield fern, and the chain fern.
Ferns in the northern areas of Florida that will tolerate a dryer ground are: blackstem spleenwort, hurly lip fern, holly fern, hay-scented fern, tassel fern, whisk fern, bracken fern, cretar brake fern, Chinese brake fern, and the giant chair fern.
Some ferns go dormant in northern Florida. These are the lady fern, glade fern, sensitive fern, cinnamon fern, royal fern, resurrection fern (when there is no rain) and the marsh fern.
Ferns that give that extra colorful foliage for this area are: the silver dollar fern (reddish silver growth), variegated shield fern (variegated white), Japanese painted fern (silver and purple), and the mosquito fern (green or dark red).
Native ferns are hardy and a joy year after year. the sword fern does take over, but it is easily controlled by pulling out. I would not hesitate in the least to enjoy the wispy look of ferns in an area.
Ferns can be enjoyed in a clay pot, just be sure to give them plenty of water.
For that wispy look and yet a lush and healthy look try ferns.