Walking through the nurseries when the shipments of Kimberly Queen ferns and Macho ferns have been delivered has a way of transporting me to another world. Surrounded by baskets filled with majestic fronds that seem to reach out and beckon me towards them invokes a, to quote The Eagles, “peaceful, easy feeling”. These ferns exude tranquility and make you feel like the air you are breathing in just got a little fresher. Don’t believe me? When you come to visit us, make sure to take a walk through our greenhouses. But for now, walk through my blog and learn a little more about these spectacular ferns.
Macho ferns in a greenhouse
Macho fern close up.

About Macho Ferns

Macho ferns are impressive and majestic looking plants. They make eye-catching statements as lone specimens in extra large containers and cascading out of massive hanging baskets on partly shaded patios. Planted in mass in the landscape they make a full and lush border or backdrop when, at maturity, their average growth is reached at 5′ tall x 6′ wide (plant 4′ apart for a continuous hedge).

Macho ferns are adaptable to both part sun and shade, We like them best in shadier areas because we think their leaves can get scorched by the rays. Make sure the part sun they receive is morning sun and not late afternoon. Macho ferns are evergreen which makes them a great plant to include in your permanent landscape. They’ll also live an average of 20 years. That’s a good investment! Give them a great start by planting them in landscape soil that has been amended with plenty of organic matter, or offer them a quality potting soil like Happy Frog from FoxFarm if they’ll be planted in a container.

Kimberly Queen ferns
Close up of plant.

About Kimberly Queen Ferns

KImberly Queen ferns are somewhat smaller than Macho ferns, but just as regal and terrific. at maturity, Kimberly Queens reach an average height of 3′ tall x wide (plant 2′ apart when planting in mass in the landscape). The pinnas that sit on the blades of Kimberly Queens are more slender and sit closer together than the wide pinnas on Macho ferns that have larger gaps between them. See the feature photo of this blog to see the two side by side.

Ferns often look stunning occupying space underneath a large shade tree, but they can also adapt to a little bit of sunshine if it’s offered in the mornings. Our favorite light to offer them is either morning sun and afternoon shade, or a continuous dapple of light all day long. By the way, Kimberly Queens make excellent houseplants. Indoors, they can adapt to low, medium or diffused bright light.

Kimberly Queen ferns are outstanding container options too, whether hanging from coco-lined baskets on the front porch or lining the deck under an overhang. Just remember that potted plants generally need more water than those planted in the landscape (especially during our hot summers).

Follow our same advice for soil types for Kimberly Queen ferns that we offered above about Macho ferns. While not particular to soil types, both of these ferns will perform their utmost best when you’ve offered a rich soil. PLEASE make sure that your soils and the location you plan to plant either Kimberly Queen ferns or Macho ferns in is well-draining. While they appreciate regular water, they will not tolerate wet feet; this will result in rootrot.

Frond unfurling.
Both of these ferns are perennials and are hardy to 25°F. If colder temps are expected, take care to offer winter protection. There is minimal maintenance other than some pruning of any dieback and some feeding. We find that fertilizing your Macho and Kimberly Queen ferns with a slow release fertilizer can offer nutrients continuously throughout a full season (depending on fertilizer variety).

Macho and Kimberly Queen ferns grow in an upright and slightly arching form. Their stems are covered completely with the sword-like foliage from bottom to the top, which offers you a full and dense plant that looks great from all angles. I personally love how ferns add a great dose of texture to gardens and landscapes. Their foliage is strong but delicately refined. Plus, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the frond of a fern in the process of unfurling, but that alone is a reason enough to include a fern in your world.

Come take a look at our selection of Macho and Kimberly Queen ferns and see if one (or two) might be just what you need to go home with!

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy