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The Care of Outdoor Ferns in Winter: Tips for a Healthy Overwintering

Buitenvaren bruin blad

Outdoor ferns are beautiful plants that can embellish your garden or patio with their lush greenery, even in the colder months. But to ensure that your outdoor ferns survive the winter and come back to life in the spring, it's important to take some specific care measures. In this blog we take a closer look at the care and protection of outdoor ferns in winter.

1. Choose the right fern species

Not all fern species are equally hardy. Make sure you select fern varieties that are suitable for the climate in your region. For example, in temperate climates, the autumn fern (Dryopteris) often winter hardy.

2. Isolate with mulch

In the fall, before frost sets in, you can apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of your outdoor ferns. This helps protect the roots from severe frost and keeps the soil at an even temperature. Use organic material such as leaves, straw or compost for good insulation.

3. Limit watering

During the winter, outdoor ferns need less water because they are dormant. Excessive watering can lead to root rot. Check the soil occasionally and only water if it feels very dry. Please note that water requirements depend on local weather conditions.

4. Protect from strong winds

Strong winter winds can cause drying and damage the fern's foliage. You can install a temporary wind barrier, such as a fence or mesh, to protect your outdoor ferns. Make sure the barrier does not suffocate the plant and allows adequate air circulation.

5. Do not prune dead leaves

Although it may be tempting to prune dead or yellow fronds from your outdoor ferns, it is best not to do so in winter. The dead leaves act as a natural protection for the plant, and pruning can weaken the fern. Wait until spring to carry out any pruning work.

6. Consider relocation

In some cases it may be wise to move pots of outdoor ferns to a sheltered location such as a greenhouse or veranda during the winter. This provides extra protection against severe weather conditions. Make sure that the plant still gets enough light.

Buitenvaren in herfst

Caring for outdoor ferns in winter requires some attention and care, but with the right measures, these beautiful plants can thrive even in cold climates. By selecting hardy fern varieties, insulation with mulch and protection from wind, you can enjoy green, lush outdoor ferns in your garden all year round.


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