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Ferns/frost bite


Put ferns inside all winter. Put them outside last week in nice weather but got hit by light frost. About 2/3 of the fronds are dark green now.  The roots did not get it and the base of the fern is still nicely green.  Have not cut anything back and only watered them. Will the dark green fronds come back?  About 1/3 of the fronds are ok and some of them are only partially dark green not brown or black.rw5

Nick hi;

To properly answer your question, I would need to know what ferns these are.

However, in general, here are my suggestions:

The dark green fronds will NOT recover.  They will eventually become necrotic (brown) and fall off.  To prevent disease from settling in through the dead fronds, I suggest removing them at the base.

Based on your description and depending on the extent of the damage (and the specific fern), I expect your plant to enjoy full recovery.

Thanks for your question and best of success!



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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.

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

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