Fern for container in full sun?

ozres(z6 AR)May 17, 2005

I need a recommendation for a fern in a container in full sun beside our pool. I found one at a local nursery last year, but they closed and I don't know the name of the fern. Alas, last summer's fern didn't survive the winter, so I'm hunting for a new one.

I was wondering about Kimberly Queen or Macho fern. Do you think they can handle the sun?

Thank You,


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Unfortunately no Nephrolepis species will survive outdoor winters in your area. To boot these ferns will not stand up to sun well either! I would suggest another type of plant or maybe one of the native ferns that can handle such an exposed position such as one of the osmunda species (especially regalis, perhaps cinnamomea). PF

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 1:48AM
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ozres(z6 AR)

Thanks PF, for the info. I checked at a small, local nursery yesterday and they said the Macho fern will definitely NOT take the summer sun.

They weren't really sure about the Kimberely Queen. It's funny, I've searched a couple of different plant info sites and I can't find anything about the Kimerberly Queen fern. I bet there's another more popular name for it. I bought the Kimberely Queen at my local WMT, so I'm sure it's not some new, rare species!

I'll see if I can find some of the "osmunda" types. Our leading local nursery closed this past year and we don't really have much to choose from.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:29AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I have to say I'm not sure I would subject a fern to the full sun either, but if you must, you must. I have had pretty good luck with Dryopteris in sun: in my case filix-mas Grandiceps in particular has put up with quite a bit, and I think some other Dryopteris will too. I'd suggest a big pot, and maybe some rocks on the surface of the soil to keep the roots cooler.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 8:38PM
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I would stongly suggest Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern). I have some growing wild on the west side of my house where it isn't unusual to have temperatures near or over 95 F on a regular basis in summer. They come back every year, this year they are really lush and have spread.
I know some consider them to be a weed, but the leaves are pretty and they are robust and endure sun and drought.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2005 at 8:51PM
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Hurricane Ivan exposed all of my native fern collection (12 species) to full sun by removing my trees. My Sensitive Fern looks terrible right now and I thought it was because it's getting hotter, but I did notice some black beetles on the fern and they may be the culprits that caused the browning fronds. I've smooshed them all. I put a little table over the Sensitive Ferns for temporary shade, but NJOasis's comment has made me hopeful that the fern just might make it in that spot without help. Maybe I'll take the table off. Moisture is no problem there. In a month or two I'll be able to say which Alabama ferns can take full sun in summer. The Christmas Fern already died, but I think it was due to damage from a falling tree. Other involuntary participants in the sun experiment are three kinds of lycopods, a Whisk Fern, Horsetail and a Coontie. This was my "Primitive Plants" garden.
Carol of Butterfly Baby Food Land

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 2:31PM
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skme(z6 TN)

ozres, Kimberly Queens will do wonderfully in the sun by a pool. I have had 8 around my pool for the last 3 years and they take the sun with very little watering too. I always get compliments on how beautiful they are. I even put some in my front yard landscaping for a dramatic effect. My only problem is they don't winter over outside and I have no sunny place to keep them inside. I just end up buying new ones each year.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 9:44PM
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ozres(z6 AR)

Just an update.........

I planted a Wal-Mart Kimberly Queen fern in two different containers beside our pool and they're doing great! The containers are full and lush and the fern's growing like a weed. Both containers are in full sun and I'm keeping them watered regularly.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 10:59AM
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