Trim / tidy up deer ferns?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Georgia Strait, Mar 3, 2022.

  1. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have some deer ferns which do very well at the coast near Vancouver BC — easy on water etc

    the snow flattened them

    I know how to trim the fronds of SWORD FERN — and do each early spring (an easy chore - no noisy power tools required :)

    can I trim the existing (prev years’) fronds on DEER FERN? Will new fronds unfurl ?

    perhaps @Margot - you have deer fern?

    here are some pix from internet and a couple of one of my flattened deer ferns (the pic w rose stem is my deer fern )

    A Guide to Ferns of the Pacific Northwest

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    I'd leave them alone
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  3. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor

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    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Ferns are so good at self-mulching, they'd probably prefer us to leave the old fronds to accumulate from year to year. However, I remove all my evergreen fern fronds just before the new ones unfurl, for aesthetic reasons. It can be very difficult to do the job afterwards when old and new fronds grow together. I take off the fertile fronds (the ones that grow vertically), when they become brown and scraggly in the summer.

    I'm amazed that you consider your deer ferns easy on water because I find mine very demanding of it. In fact, I finally dug up my remaining plants and put them in pots set in shallow trays of water.

    In an attempt to keep us mentally sharp, those that know better have changed the name of deer fern from Blechnum spicant to Struthiopteris spicant. Thanks for that.
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