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I have beautiful hosta and fern plants growing outside. How do I protect them so they will survive the winter? Do I need to dig them up and bring them inside?

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A

Whether you need to dig up your hostas and ferns will depend on the specific variety of the plant.  Most hostas and hardy ferns should not have to be dug up. Hostas are usually hardy from zones 3-8 or 9 and should be fine.   As for the ferns, there is more of a range in hardiness zones, so even if they are considered to be hardy they may not be in our area.  You will need to check on the specific types that you have and see what zone they are rated for.  If your ferns are not the hardy variety they will usually not survive the winter outside and would need to be dug up and brought indoors.    Below I have included a list of just a few of ferns that are considered to be hardy. 

Common Name:              Botanical Name:
Northern Maidenhair             Adiantum pedatum
Spleenwort                              Asplenium trichomanes
Lady Fern                               Athyrium felix-femina
Japanese Painted Fern           Athyrium nipponicum var. pictum
Leather Wood Fern                       Dryopteris marginalis
Ostrich Fern                    Matteuccia struthiopteris
Cinnamon Fern                   Osmunda cinnomomea
Christmas Fern                  Polystichum acrostichoides

Posted on 1 Oct 2008

Heidi Wayman
Horticulture Intern, Salt Lake County

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