Help with Shaggy Shield ferns (is it dying?)

SandL(6a KS)March 23, 2005

Last Fall I bought two Shaggy Shield ferns from our local nursery. The nursery told me they would do okay if left outdoors during our winters (which have some ice and/or snow, but are relatively mild).

Needless to say, they're looking sad. Most of the leaves are turning brown and I'm not seeing any new fronds (except for one teeny tiny one). I did spot a lot of green nubby something or others at the base of the plant.

Is that new growth ready to emerge?

The ferns are planted on the west side of my house where they get shade until about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. They get plenty of water.

I have other areas in my garden that get more shade, but really liked where these ferns were planted.

Any ideas? I am new to ferns and have no clue what's going on.


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I have a tree fern, and I know it needs to be warm, so If your ferns do start to bud again, I would make sure next winter to cover them up to keep them warmer. I also would say if you have green things starting to apear you are in luck. Ferns seem to be ok with comming back after getting to cold. My tree fern lost about half of its leaves when the winter freezes hit, but now it is sending up a new green ball looking thing. Also if you could post a picture that might help people respond better to your situation.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 1:55AM
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harvey12(z7 NC)

I have a number of Shaggy Shield ferns, which are said to be hardy in this area (7b), but they all became brown this winter. I have no doubt that they will emerge when spring comes. Your description of your ferns fits with what has happened to mine. I would wait until spring. My guess is that they will send up new fronds and be as nice as they were last fall. The nubbins at the base are probably new fiddleheads, ready to unfold when the time is right.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 11:41AM
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ChlorophyllJill(z6 OK)

I hope your ferns are doing better. I just got a Shaggy Shield - and I was looking up info on it and came upon this thread. I think, and I'm not an expert, that ferns do this (die back or disappear) in cold areas. I'm not sure they're evergreen. Maybe in warmer areas. I had several ferns that I planted last year sort of disappear, only to come back really nice this Spring! I planted two Japanese Painted Ferns, which I thought I killed last summer out of sheer neglect - and they delightfully surprised me by coming back very nicely this Spring! I'm going to make sure they get babied this summer. I've had different luck with different ferns - both Autumn and Japanese Painted Ferns have done really well for me. I've also planted Southern Woodland Ferns - which turned out pretty wimpy this spring - they're barely getting going, Korean Rock Fern - planted three of this, two died, one came back but is taking his sweet time, Ostrich - doing all right - started this one from a root, and Christmas, which is doing the worst. It started as a root, too - we'll see what happens. I hope my Shaggy does all right!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 4:21PM
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