How do I care for my Kimberly Queen fern that I bought March 3? I don’t want my fern to die.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Keisha in Florida: ‘Kimberly Queen’ ferns (Nephrolepis obliterata) are hardy in zones 9 and above. This means they are considered a perennial fern where you live, but for those of us gardening in Kentucky they have to be over-wintered indoors. These ferns can handle a lot more sun than other ferns can. In fact, they are happy to grow in full sun, which is great for us fern lovers who might not have shade that many other ferns require. These upright sword ferns are great in containers or planted in a bed. They can become very large, reaching 3 feet tall and wide at maturity. They prefer consistently moist soil so if you have planted them in the garden, make sure they have sufficient moisture while they are getting established. If you are growing them in a container they will require more water since they will dry out faster. Your watering routine will depend on the temperature and other environmental conditions such as wind, but watering once every five to seven days should be fine. During the heat of the summer they may need watering every other day or so. It is best to test the soil before watering. If the soil feels moist, wait a couple of days and then water. Make sure your containers have good drainage and you can feed your ferns once a month with your favorite well balanced fertilizer.