Will Ferns Grow Back After a Freeze?

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Sometimes ferns can survive a freeze.

Maintaining a garden includes keeping it going from year to year. Sometimes this involves replanting flowers or other greenery that died from winter freezes, but not every plant needs that. Ferns, for example, can survive freezing temperatures as long as the freeze isn't too severe.

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Perennials

Ferns are perennial plants, those that live for many years. Annual plants are the ones you have to replant every year. Do not confuse this annual dying with dieback, which is a general term for sections of the plant dying and reducing the size of the plant, from either disease or cold; dieback is not necessarily permanent.

Normal Cold

Ferns will die back when it gets cold in winter, but they will begin to grow again in spring. The ostrich fern species can actually sprout again in fall, after the previous fronds have dried up.

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Unusual Freezes

Texas A&M says a major freeze, one that's unusually cold or lasts for a long time, can kill off a fern. Ferns vary in their cold-hardiness, but a fern native to the area should be better able to survive freezing conditions that are normal for the region. If the fern survived, it will produce new growth in spring.

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Suzanne S. Wiley

Suzanne S. Wiley is an editor and writer in Southern California. She has been editing since 1989 and began writing in 2009. Wiley received her master's degree from the University of Texas and her work appears on various websites.