The Western Sword Fern has the classic appearance that you would expect when you think of a fern. All across the northern hemisphere you will find these fronds whenever you enter a wooded area. They are the perfect plant to create depth in a garden or woodland as they grow along Earth in the shadier spots
As ferns are bottom dwellers that often grow on the canopy floor of a forest, it’s no surprise that they like things to be a bit shady. In fact Western Sword Ferns prefer partial to even complete shade. This makes them perfect for spots in your garden that don’t get a lot of sun but need brightening with some greenery.
The soil needed for a Western Sword Fern should be well-draining. It will need to be kept moist for the plant to thrive but you don’t want the roots sitting in soggy mud. Loam, chalk, sand or clay can be great bases in which to plant you fern.
Sword Fern plants like to be moist so they will need to be watered regularly. However if they are planted outside then you might not need to water them as much. If you live in an area that receives high rainfall then you won’t need to do that much watering to help your plants thrive. If you live in a drier climate or you’re experiencing a hot summer then you may need to water them more regularly yourself.
How To Prune
Your fern shouldn’t need too much pruning but you can cut off dead fronds and cut back your fern if it becomes overgrown for a tidier look. Leave your pruning for the spring time as the dead fronds can protect the plant during the colder months.
The Sword Fern needs fertilising less often than other plants and make sure you only fertilise during the growing period.
Western Sword Fern FAQ:
Now you’ve read the sword fern care guide, take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions for any fern information that you may have missed.
How often should I mist my fern?
If your fern is outdoors in a rainy region then you shouldn’t need to mist your fern. However if it lives in a drier region or you’re keeping your fern in doors where the air is less humid then you can mist your fern from a couple of times a week to every day.
Are sword ferns invasive?
Sword ferns do grow very quickly so if you plant one make sure it is in a region where you can control its growth otherwise you might find it growing out of control and overwhelming other plant species already living in the area.
How do you propagate a sword fern?
One way to propagate a Western Sword Fern is to sow spores into a potting mix. The other way is to propagate through root division. Simply dig up your plant, divide segments from the roots and replant.
How do you plant a sword fern?
Plant your sword fern in soil that is either loam, chalk, clay or sand, and water thoroughly. If being kept as an indoor plant you can opt for a pot on the smaller size rather than a large one.