sunny fern facts
Ferns are commonly recommended for shade gardens, but if you’re fond of ferns and don’t have shade, there are some ferns that will tolerate full sun with the right care. The two listed here will tolerate full sun if you keep the soil moist. As a general rule, the more sun ferns are exposed to, the more moisture they’ll need. Plant them in humus-rich soil and spread chopped leaf mulch around them to help conserve moisture.
Hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) grows 18 in. tall and spreads quickly to cover a large area. It grows best in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. The 3- to 5-in.-wide fronds are deciduous. Hay-scented fern is cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 and heat-tolerant in AHS zones 8 to 1.
Southern shield fern (Thelypteris kunthii) is a deciduous fern with 3-ft.-tall shiny green fronds. In mild winters the fronds remain evergreen. It spreads by underground rhizomes. This fern is cold-hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9 and heat-tolerant in AHS zones 9 to 1.