Ferns have been a very popular and elegant part of many gardens for centuries. These plants are very versatile, as they can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The Kimberly Queen fern is an extremely attractive variety, that is sure to make the area more appealing. Let us have a look at how to care for the Kimberly Queen in the correct way, so as to ensure that it thrives.
Unlike a Boston or Dallas fern, the Kimberly Queen or Australian sword fern (scientific name: Nephrolepsis obliterata) grows upright, rather than spreading out towards the sides, giving it a neater appearance and making it easy to care for. The Kimberly Queen is also a very resilient species, and can tolerate heavy winds and rains. The plant grows just as well in a hanging basket as on the ground, giving it an advantage of versatility as a decorative plant.
One can easily buy these fern saplings from nurseries, and they are not very expensive either. They make good borders in landscape gardens, and increase the appeal of the area, especially when they are planted with other shade-loving plants like begonias, heliconias, and impatiens. They also look good when planted in pots or hanging baskets, and placed near the doorways in homes.
Kimberly Queen Fern Care: Tips
1) Although the fern can grow in direct sunlight, it is best planted in partial shade or filtered sunlight.
2) The Kimberly Queen does well in the USDA hardiness zone 9 – 11. Consider the location of planting the fern accordingly.
3) Watering should be done once in 2 – 3 days, depending on the climate. The soil should be moist but not too wet. Watering the fronds as well as the soil will encourage the plant to grow well. Never allow the soil to completely dry out.
4) Spread mulch in a thickness of 2 – 3 inches around the base of the plant every 3 – 4 months. This is necessary to protect the roots during the winter in areas that are very cold, because the roots give out new fronds in spring.
5) The Kimberly Queen fern cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, so if you live in such areas, grow the plants indoors.
6) If you have planted the fern indoors, make sure the environment has a reasonable amount of moisture, or the leaves will gradually turn brown. You can use a humidifier for this purpose. Regularly spraying the plant with water will also help.
7) Apply a water-soluble fertilizer in the soil around the fern once in 3 months.
8) When planting the fern in a pot, mix soil and peat moss in equal quantities, and plant the roots in the mix for best results.
9) Regularly remove any dead fronds that you may find to encourage healthy, rich, and green growth. Heavy pruning near the level of the soil, once in 2 – 3 years just before the advent of spring will keep the plant green and extend its lifespan.
10) If the temperature falls below 60°F the plant will stop growing. You should make necessary arrangements to transplant the fern whenever needed. However, transplanting the plant too often will weaken it, so prior planning is a must.
11) This fern is propagated very easily by the process of plant division. To do this, you must remove the plant from the soil, and gently with your hands separate the ball of the roots from each other. Each one of them is capable to grow a new bunch of ferns. Plant division is best done when the fern starts to overcrowd the pot or its designated area in the garden.
12) This species of fern is highly resistant to pests and diseases. However, if affected, appropriate pesticides can solve the problem.
13) The Kimberly Queen fern is a non-toxic species, but it can still cause mild sickness in pets and humans if consumed. Hence, the location of the fern should be kept out of the reach from small children and pets.
With winter coming soon, make necessary arrangements to create the ideal growing environment for the Kimberly Queen fern, and enjoy the beauty of the new fronds that will appear at the start of spring.