Kimberly Queen Fern

Q: I planted Kimberly Queen ferns in my shaded garden last year and they were beautiful until the ice storm hit. They, of course, died shortly thereafter, but I am noticing that there are green grape-like things on the ground next to the dead ferns.

I was wondering if there is any chance that they may come back to life or if I am better off removing the dead portion from the ground and accepting the fact that they will simply not return.

A: The Kimberly Queen fern (Nephrolepis oblitercia) is kin to the common Boston fern (Nephrolepis Bostoniensis. There are several kinds of Boston fern, including ‘Fuzzy Ruffles’.
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A FERN SURVIVOR Several weeks ago, a gardener wrote to ask about her Kimberly Queen fern that had been planted outdoors last summer. She said the leaves were all dead but there were green lumps appearing where the plant had grown.

I advised her that the Kimberly Queen fern is a cousin of the Boston fern and should not be considered winter-hardy in Atlanta. Surprise! Sarah now reports that the green lumps were indeed emerging fronds and the Kimberly Queen ferns are coming back strong.

I was seconds away from pruning down a dead-appearing azalea last month when I was distracted by another garden chore. Mirabilis visum! It began blooming beautiful red flowers last week and is now covered with leaves. “Just wait and see what happens” is often good garden advice.

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