How to Get Rid of Ferns

More than 10,000 species of ferns grow throughout the world. Many of these seedless, vascular plants are used as outdoor and indoor plants for decorative and even air purification reasons. Some species of ferns, however, are invasive. Whether you have intentionally planted a fern or it is a non-native plant growing in your garden, with the correct removal techniques, including the application of herbicides, you can get rid of unwanted ferns.

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The most effective method for getting rid of ferns is through the application of herbicides.

Step 1

Put on protective gloves, glasses and clothing that covers your arms and legs.

Step 2

Spray a water-soluble foliar herbicide onto the fern's leaves. Using an herbicide is helpful for getting rid of many ferns from the landscape. Several days after you apply the herbicide to the fern's leaves, remove the ferns from the ground using the hand-pulling method.

Step 3

Hand-pull as much of the fern as you can. Even though removing the fern by hand is a simple method, it is effective, especially if you only have one or a few ferns to remove. Grip the fern by the fronds nearest to the soil and pull it up and out of the soil. Make sure that you have removed as much of the root system as possible by pulling out as much of the fern that you can reach.

Step 4

Apply a water-soluble glyphosate herbicide to any stumps or exposed roots. Glyphosate is a fairly safe herbicide and you can purchase it in a variety of brands. Whether you use a gel or a spray, after a few weeks you should notice the stump, roots or any remaining leaves begin to yellow and die. Remove the stump and roots by hand-pulling or with a shovel if you need to dig out a large root.


Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.