Will Kimberly Queen ferns grow and thrive in a shady place? Or should I use a Boston fern?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Paula in Alabama: Kimberly Queen and Boston ferns are both lovely container options for Kentucky gardeners. In your case, depending on your hardiness zone, they may actually be considered hardy ferns. Both the Boston and the Kimberly Queen belong to the same species (Nephrolepis) of ferns. The main difference besides the growth habit is that the Kimberly Queen can tolerate the full sun where the Boston fern will burn if grown in the direct sun. The Boston fern requires bright, indirect light and the Kimberly Queen is just as happy growing in the full sun as it is in the shade. So really it is up to you in terms of what you are trying to achieve in your planting space. The Kimberly Queen is more upright in growth habit, and the Boston is more of a loose, arching fern usually found in hanging baskets.