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How to grow luscious Ostrich ferns.

How to grow luscious Ostrich ferns.

Jan 08, 2024

How to grow luscious Ostrich ferns.

Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) are renowned for their luscious, feathery fronds and ability to thrive in various environments. These ferns add a touch of elegance to gardens, providing a lush and vibrant backdrop. Caring for and growing ostrich ferns is a rewarding endeavor, and with a few key considerations, you can enjoy the beauty of these ferns in your own outdoor space.

Choosing the Right Location:

Ostrich ferns prefer partial to full shade, making them ideal for woodland gardens or areas with filtered sunlight. While they can tolerate some sunlight, too much direct exposure may scorch their delicate fronds. Plant the Ostrich ferns in well-drained soil that is rich to ensure proper moisture retention.

How to plant Ostrich ferns?

Plant ostrich ferns in the spring or fall. Ensure that the crowns (the base of the plants) are planted just below the soil surface. Space each fern at least 2 to 3 feet apart for proper air circulation and future growth.


Ostrich ferns thrive in consistently moist soil. Even though the Ostrich ferns can tolerate short periods of drought, keeping the soil consistently damp is crucial, especially during the growing season. Watering early in the day helps prevent diseases, as the foliage has time to dry before evening.


Ostrich ferns generally do not require excessive fertilization. However, incorporating a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring can promote healthy growth. Be mindful not to over-fertilize, as excessive nutrients can lead to lush but weak foliage.

Ostrich ferns

How to care for Ostrich ferns.

Regular pruning is unnecessary for ostrich ferns, as they naturally shed old fronds. However, removing dead or damaged fronds can enhance the plant's appearance. In late fall or early spring, you can cut back old foliage to make way for new growth.

Dividing Ostrich Ferns:

Ostrich ferns have a spreading habit, and they may become crowded over time. Dividing the clumps every 3 to 5 years rejuvenates the plants and promotes vigorous growth. Divide the Ostrich ferns early in springtime before new foliage begins or in the fall after they've gone dormant. Matteuccia struthiopteris

Protecting from Pests and Diseases:

Ostrich ferns are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, watch for slug damage, especially in moist conditions. Applying natural slug deterrents or providing barriers can help protect your ferns.

Caring for and growing ostrich ferns can be a delightful experience, adding a touch of sophistication to your garden. Providing the right environment, regular maintenance, and a little patience will reward you with the lush, feathery foliage of these elegant ferns. Embrace the beauty of nature in your outdoor space with the grace and charm of ostrich ferns.