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Old 05-14-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: at work!
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I have managed to fill large barren areas in our yard with lush green ferns. But every year about mid summer they get nasty looking and covered in rust spots. What am I doing wrong?? Help!!!
I would love to keep them nice this year.
Thanks
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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Are you sure it is rust?? Or just that color? I would guess they are getting sunburnt. Ferns need lots of shade and moisture. If you say what kinds of ferns they are, we might be able to give some better/more specific advice.

I love ferns!
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: at work!
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They are in mostly shade, get plenty of water. Not sure what kind. Our nieghbor gave us a start. They grow to about 2-3 feet in height. I'll post a pic in a moment.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: at work!
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here they are. Identification would probably help.


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Old 05-14-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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I think it looks like Ostrich fern but I'm not sure, especially if they only get to 2-3 ft. Ostrich ferns grow very big if they are happy (up to 6ft), and they need lots of moisture and shade, and like a cooler environment. Are you in the hot south?

I hope someone who knows more about ferns can help- they sure are beautiful! Especially when it gets hotter, go often and stick your finger in the ground next to them to get a better idea if it is really consistently moist. And I'm not sure how much time you want to spend on them, but you can get a large mist-spray bottle and mist water around to give them more humidity. And post pics again when (if!) they get spots, that will be easier to see what is wrong. Maybe it is an insect pest.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:29 PM
 
Location: at work!
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Thanks for your help. I live in northern illinois. I keep them moist. I was wondering if I maybe over did it. If the change again this yr I will post some close ups of the leaves,.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:04 PM
 
Location: WA
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Are you just seeing the spores on the ferns as they reproduce? Mine do it once a year.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:16 AM
 
Location: at work!
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I thought that may be it, but I didn't think it would cover the entire plant. Granted, I know very little about ferns.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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They get covered in spores during the summer. It's how they reproduce.



Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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Spores.
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