Did you know the ferns in your yard need seasonal pruning or trimming? This is not something everyone is aware of. Often times the fronds (not called leaves on ferns) can still have an attractive appearance after more than a year. But as the fronds age they turn brown and raggedy over time. You can renew the appearance of your ferns by cutting them back.
I prefer to let the fronds from the past year remain until around mid-March, St. Patrick’s Day is a good benchmark. When you let these fronds remain through the winter into March you allow for some winter interest. By mid-March the time is just right for the new seasons’ fronds to emerge in short order uninhibited by the prior year’s growth.
Below is a short video demonstrating how to prune your ferns.
This is a photo of the new fronds still bound like a tight fist and waiting to emerge.
I find pruning the fern to be one of my favorite late winter to early spring chores. It is a task you'll need to learn to like if you are going to have ferns be a part of your garden.
Popular varieties of ferns include the Western Sword Fern, Deer Fern, Japanese Tassel Fern and Japanese Painted Fern to name a few. Ferns add wonderful texture to the mid-ground and background of a garden. They are relatively low maintenance and relatively easy to establish. Don't let a small amount of seasonal maintenance stand in the way of enjoying ferns in your gardens.