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Are they dying back for the winter?

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Joined: 7/21/2008
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 7
Posted: Nov/24/2008 4:49 PM PST

Do Astilbe, Bleeding Hearts, and ferns die back in the winter? I grew these in pots from bareroots during the summer and planted them in September. Everything was going fine and now they are looking bad. I just assume they are dying back for the winter but I want to be sure. If they aren't I want to dig them up and try to save them.
gardendude blog photos
Joined: 4/08/2008
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 241
Posted: Nov/24/2008 6:12 PM PST

Astilbe and Bleeding Heart will dye back for the winter and reappear again next spring. As for the fern, it depends on what kind you have. A number of them are evergreen and while they won't actively grow during winter, should retain their foliage. Other ferns however will brown up and fade out until next spring.
Joined: 7/21/2008
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 7
Posted: Nov/25/2008 5:41 AM PST

They are ghost ferns and just run of the mill home depot ferns. One of the ghost ferns is okay (I say that with hesitation), one was laid on by my dog so it lost most of the frons and the other one just looks sad. I guess I will just not fret to much and wait until spring. Crossing my fingers everything will come back.
witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Posted: Nov/25/2008 6:48 AM PST

I hope that they come back for you. And don't forget that the ferns may have cast their spores and you'll have them coming up in places that you didn't expect. Keep your eyes peeled next spring.
poeticpeony blog photos
Joined: 4/04/2006
Location: NE Ohio, deck chuckin' fool
Posts: 9437
Posted: Dec/28/2008 3:37 PM PST

That's for sure. I've got some that had to be transplanted from the back acreage via my tractor mowerblades and one grew inside my barn on a work bench under where the roof's caved in! It's a lacy fern, but I don't know exactly what kind yet or where it originated. These wild ones and my intentionally planted painted fern all die back in the fall and winter and come back the next year. Even the one on the rotten workbench.
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