Crow Dog Native Ferns and Gardens
Fern Ecology, Planting, and Maintenance
Soils : pH and Composition Design with Native Ferns
Light Regimes Crow Dog Home
Fern Planting Guidelines Landscaping with Native Ferns
Moisture Regimes
Native Fern Ecology Considerations

Of the approximately 12,000 species of ferns worldwide, only about 15 % are native outside the tropics.There are approximately 90 native fern species in the eastern US, excluding the southern half of Florida and parts of south Texas. Native fern ecology generally consists of fern community and fern species preferences in the following areas:

Regional Temperature Regimes

The duration of continuous sub-40 degree temperature lows is a general rule of thumb.


Most ferns prefer dappled shade, but some ferns require full sun.


All but a few ferns require constantly moist, but not wet, soil. Native ferns do well in rich garden soil that is watered when rain is sparse. Soil moisture is maintained more efficiently and for longer droughty periods when it contains abundant organic matter and is covered by composted mulch.

Soil pH

Like all plants, and all micro-organisms for that matter, native ferns have soil pH preferences. Some species are pH cosmopolitan and some prefer very acidic soil, moderately acidic soil, slightly acid to neutral soil, or only circumneutral soil. If placed in unsuitable pH soil, non-cosmopolitan ferns will be stunted or won't survive.