prep potted fern for winter outside?

msmsmsDecember 1, 2005

i just picked up some hanging ferns set out on the curb by a neighbor. they are about half brown, but the green half is healthy and includes strong new growth. i have not had ferns before; afraid i'd kill them

i would like to save them for spring, preferrably not bringing them inside. what's the best way to handle them for a cold winter ? (southern tennessee)

should i set the pots into the ground? clip back the fronds? water or let dry?

i am open to rigging up a small "greenhouse" structure behind the garage, in the sun, if it's possible to use thick clear plastic sheeting effectively. thanks in advance!

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karinl(BC Z8)

You would need to know whether they are hardy ferns or not. If they have been grown indoors they may not survive a winter outdoors. If you can post a picture of them for ID or identify them yourself using a book or the internet, then you are pretty close to answering your question.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 5:24PM
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Likely they are boston ferns which are not hardy when left outside in your area and that is why your neighbor trashed them. They could be half brown because he/she left them out when the weather went below 35 degrees. They would have to be overwintered in a garage at least.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:41PM
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Someone told me to cut my Boston Ferns back and remove from pot and plant in my garden watering well and covering with a heavy layer of leaves. Has anyone ever tried this? Thanks for you help.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 8:48AM
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