Older ostrich fern crowns seem to push up out of the ground & I assume freeze over the winter. How do I prevent this from happening or do they have a life span?
If crowns lift themselves out of the soil, they should be replanted.
I cannot find any data on the best season to plant bare root ostrich fern crowns. Can I order them in May and plant now, or should I order them in the fall and plant whilst dormant?
You can plant after danger of frost has passed in your growing zone.
These links will help you.
I have three patches of ostrich ferns that are three years old and seem healthy. But this year many of the plants are shorter and more squat (spreading low instead of tall) than in previous years. Some of the plants on the outside of the plots, although apparently well established, are small and almost stunted, for ostrich ferns. Any suggested reasons?
Height varies with the amount of moisture and nutrients the clumps can access. When located in cool-Summer climates, and growing in rich soil that is downright moist or even boggy in Spring, and never less than moist the rest of the year, fronds can top five feet. In more typical garden conditions—average soil and water in part or full shade—expect fronds to be two to three feet high. There is less variance in the height of the fertile fronds: sixteen to twenty-four inches. In ten years, a single starter plant could expand into a colony ten feet across or more.
Upstate NY, Zone 4, have four different Astilbes. One is problematic...the OSTRICH FERN ASTILBE. Something eats the flower heads and the leaves have holes, while my other Astilbes, Pink, Red and Purple are untroubled. Tried coffee grinds, tried loads of crushed eggshells, even slug bait to deter slugs and or snails. That didn't work at all. Who is the culprit ? Could it be a bunny ? Could it be a skunk ? There are no deer, so for certain that isn't it. Any suggestions before I give up and yank them all ?
Insects that feed on fern fronds include: sawfly and Lepidoptera larvae, cutworms, beetles, crickets and grasshoppers.
Treat the plants with Neem Oil.
Our ferns have expired already this year due to heat and lack of rain. Would like to cut them back as they are not attractive. Any problem?? Thanks, Mike
I see no issue with this. You may cut the dead growth off.
I just purchased an Ostrich fern ,Nov 28, and it said to plant it now. I was wondering if I could plant it in a large outside pot to leave outside through the winter months?
The ostrich fern is winter hardy in gardening zones 3 to 7, and it looks like all of Kansas is in zones 5 and above. Plants in pots generally need to be two gardening zones warmer than their usual rating when they are in pots, because the roots are exposed to cold more in a pot. So yes, you can place the fern in a pot for the winter or as long as you'd like.
Lots of deer around our yard. Will they eat the Ostrich ferns I am going to plant?
Deer do not prefer ostrich fern but a hungry deer will eat whatever is available. As a side note from my experience, ostrich fern spreads pretty fast. You'll need to keep it in check or it will invade your lawn and adjacent garden areas. It needs water during hot, dry weather or the fronds will yellow and break.