I'm trying to make a garden that's completely hardy here in zone 6a that has a tropical feel. What are some larger ferns that grow well here? I have ostrich ferns and would like other ideas so I can have some variety. Thanks in advance!
For me, Thelypteris kunthii is quite tall and lush. Zone 6 seems to be the coldest it will tolerant. Here in Georgia is also the one that can tolerate the most sun as well.
Here is a link that might be useful: Thelypteris kunthii
Royal fern will grow to 6 feet or more if in sun and planted in a wet ditch. Interupted fern will grow in sun or shade to 3 to 4 feet depending on moisture. Cinnamon fern likes shade and good moisture and will grow to 3 or 4 feet. These three are all Osmundas. Then there are Goldies ferns, Spinulose wood ferns, Marginal wood ferns, Silvery spleenworts, Lady ferns, all of which grow large if in their favorite habitats, less tall under less favorable conditions. These and many others are native to the Northeast, hardy, love shade, moist woodsy soil, rocks and slopes.
Ostrich Fern has some larger cultivars. Easy to grow, and the better the conditions, the larger it grows.
Dixie Woodland Fern, Dryopteris X "Australis", grows 3' and reported up to 5', seems like one of the largest without being grown in a borderline swamp.