ExteriorWhat is a Fernery? - Snackon Design

3rd July 2020by SnackON1145

Many will not know the meaning that corresponds to what a fernery is, but do not worry here we will explain it to you in the most cheerful way and we will explain its meaning and other things…

What is a fernery?

It is a strictly specialized garden for cultivation and ferns. In many places, it is customary to have the ferns indoors or at least they are protected by keeping them inside a shady house for good care with a humid environment, filtered light and protection against frost and other extremes. On the other hand, some ferns native to arid regions require protection against rain and humid conditions, and grow better in full sun.

In short, a fernery is a fern greenhouse.

So, what is a fern?

What is a fern?

Ferns are vascular plants lacking flowers, fruits and seeds. They reproduce through spores, which are located in sporangia or sori on the underside of the leaves.

fern garden
fern garden

Ferns are notable for:

  •  Leaves (fronds): Each frond presents a peduncle and a lamina divided in leaflets and pines or, in some species they can be whole. Their size varies from a few centimetres to a few meters, depending on the species.

When the fronds reach the moment of reproduction, the sori (reproductive bodies) are generated, where the sporangia (spore receptacles) are located.

  • Stem: Underground rhizomatous with primary growth, with some exceptions. Some genera such as Blechnum have an aerial stem.


Due to the beauty of their foliage, ornamental Pteridophytes have become very popular both in floral arrangements (making bouquets, centers and floral compositions, since their leaves offer adaptability to the making of these, as central or complementary elements) as well as in fernerys, gardens and indoor plants.

Specialization in the production of young ferns is becoming more and more widespread, as they are usually resistant plants, provided that they are not excessively exposed to either sun or shade and have a constant temperature between 12 and 18deg C.

Until the middle of the 20th century, ferns were very popular as indoor plants, but due to the introduction of central heating in homes, this popularity decreased, as dry air is harmful to ferns. Nowadays the acclimatization has improved a lot and people have come to appreciate them again. Especially cool places like gazebos, bathrooms… are very suitable for ferns.

The ferns are remarkable for:

  • Their leaves.
  • Its underground stem (rhizomatous).
  • Their particular reproduction.
  • Its numerous genera and species


  • By seed: from mature spores (black), placed in trays on whitewashed brown peat with a pH around 5.5. It is recommended to distribute 1 to 2 g of spores/m2. The temperature should be around 22-25 dec C. It should be covered with a glass sheet or a small plastic tunnel and shaded.

Irradiation of the seed and young plants in winter can allow a more regular production. Apply 1,000 to 2,000 lux, i.e. 80 to 100 W/m2 (e.g. with fluorescent tubes). Lighting at the end of the day (duration of the day + lighting = 16 hours).

A sufficient degree of humidity must be ensured: 80% or more.

  • By separation of stolons: it is used in the genus Nephrolepis, since these emit long and fine stolons that have terminal buds that when they come into contact with the ground, generate offspring. These can be separated and used for the culture in flowerpot.


The stolons are extracted of the mother plants cultivated in climatic greenhouse (to 25degC of minimum) on trays, in a substratum based on peat and mulch of 30 cm of thickness. The pH of this substrate can be corrected by adding dolomite or calcium hydroxide. In this way, stolons can be produced all year round.

  • By plant division: practiced in the genera Nephrolepis and Adiantum. It is not considered an industrial method.
  • In vitro cultivation: the potential for the development of leaf and leaf explants, under in vitro conditions, has been studied for some fern species.




For the “Teddy Junior” Nephrolepis cultivar; the in vitro micro-propagation allows to avoid the culture of mother-foot on important surfaces for the production of stolons.

It has also been used partially in the spore germination and gametophytic phase of some spore-spreading species.

The mother plants are selected among the best and youngest. Their exploitation should not last longer than two years, after which they should be renewed with new plants that can be grown in vitro