Macho Fern?

Vickie56(7 Texas)July 31, 2005

I was at a nursery today that had 50% off all their plants.I saw some beautiful ferns and asked what they were. She told me they were Macho Ferns and that I could plant them in the ground and they would return year after year, with good mulching, and get bigger and bigger. Well, I bought 4, intending to plant them in my circle drive in the fall. I was looking up information on them and found out they are tropical ferns. My heart just sank when I read that!! Have any of you planted these in the ground in zone 7b and had them return for you in the spring? Thanks


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Very unlikely to survive in zone 7 unless protected from temperatures below freezing. Sorry. PF

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 9:33PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Unless she got mixed up and meant "Robust Male" fern?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 1:35PM
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Vickie56(7 Texas)

Thanks for your replies. I talked to a gal at Calloways today and she told me that they would not make it in the ground. Sounds like the gal in the nursery that I bought these from needs to go back to school. Needless to say, I am VERY disappointed!! Oh well, live and learn!!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 6:40PM
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There seems to be a wide range of opinions about the hardiness of the Macho Fern(Nephrolepis biserrata 'Macho'). Some say it is hardy down to 15F(-9C), another source lists 25F(-4C). I grow several of them in pots, so I bring them indoors during the winter. Since we have had warmer than usual winters in the south for a number of years, the roots may survive when planted in a protected location with some extra mulch applied for the winter. I have several microcimates in my garden where I grow out of zone plants, and am considering experimenting with one, plus some other sub-tropical ferns there.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 3:29PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You probably have grounds to return them to the nursery, since you were obviously misinformed. I don't often return plants because most of the time I can't prove the store did something wrong as opposed to me doing something wrong, but in this case it's pretty clear.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 8:41PM
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Vickie56(7 Texas)

Razorback, my sister in law bought some ferns also, and she is going to put one in the ground just to see.

KarinL, the nursery we stopped at was in Southern Oklahoma. We were on our way home from a fishing trip and saw the nursery. I'd probably spend as much on gas to take them back, so now I guess I need to go shop for some large pots!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 4:58AM
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I just found fabulous ferns to plant in my back yard, which has a heavy canopy of very old oaks. Will the Macho ferns take the salt air like the other ferns planted in the yard? They are protected by the house and somewhat by the canopy of trees and there are tons of ferns already out there but these are just magnificent show pieces. Would appreciate any help from experienced gardeners on what plants will survive on an island located in the corner of NE Florida 2000 ft. from the beach!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 11:43AM
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I have macho ferns planted on the north side of my house. I live a 1/2 mile from the intercoastal and 3/4 from the atlantic. The onshore breeze keeps us unusually (unfortunately)dry and our soil is VERY sandy. The macho ferns do very well most of the year although, recently, they did get a bit of cold damage (we had a week of 34-60 degree weather) and in the height of summer they get some sunburn. I find them to be very slow growing and my understanding is that they are a threatened species so I'm happy to have them.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:38AM
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