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Ferns/Macho ferns


I have macho ferns planted in the ground in zone 8.  Should they be pruned back to ground level in the spring?

Becky hi;

I would prune back only those leaves which are showing visible frost damage, and only after the last freeze had passed.  Some years, you will prune almost all the way down; some years, maybe none at all.

Obviously, when you prune, you want to use clean, sharp shears and make a quick snip as close as possible to the base of the frond.



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Dan Carmi


I can answer all types of questions regarding ferns: their physiology, life cycle, taxonomy, culture (for both the professional and hobbyist), home and garden application and care, site suitability, and more. I can also answer questions in the fields of greenhouse production, foliage plants, and houseplant care, along with questions in the general field of ornamental horticulture. I may be able to identify fern and foliage plants by photo, but I am unlikely to be able to do it by description (though I will never turn down a challenge). I am not an expert in crop, field, and agronomic production. I am not an expert on annuals, perennials, tree & shrub crops.


I am a horticulturist with a formal education and twelve years experience in commercial fern and tropical foliage production. I also served as Adjunct Professor of Horticulture at Florida Southern College.

Florida's Nursery Growers and Landscape Association: current member and Action Chapter Board Member 2006-2008.

I have a BSc in Environmental Horticulture / Business from Florida Southern College, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Production.

Awards and Honors
FNGLA Action Chapter President's Award 2006-2007, numerous academic awards 2001-2005.

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Through my place of employment, I serve hundreds of commercial growers across the country and beyond.

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