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Tuesday - August 12, 2014

From: Waynesville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Ferns
Title: Chemical Weed Control in Lady Ferns in North Carolina
Answered by: Larry Larson


Lady Fern (Athyrium filix femina): What herbicide may I use for weeds in a new bed of Lady fern.


  You sort of came to the wrong place with this question. The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.  As such, we don’t stock much information on herbicides and are just about as interested in the weeds as we are the Athyrium filix-femina (Common ladyfern) !

   Still,  Athyrium filix-femina (Common ladyfern) is a native, so I gave it a bit of a go. Here is a very informative publication from the British Columbia Ministry of Forests on the Vegetation Management of Fern Complexes.  Lady Fern is one of the predominant species of these complexes.  I think the section on chemical control focusses on controlling the ferns though!

Similarly, here is an article from e-How on Weed Control for Bracken Fern, As both of these appear to focus on controlling the ferns, it’s likely your best approach is to avoid the recommended treatments – and do some research on other treatments that are effective on the “weeds”.

  A likely place you can go to for some good help for this question is the Haywood County NC State Extension Office.  Extension Offices tend to be much more knowledgeable on chemical approaches, and I notice that yours has an “Ask an Expert” link and a team of Master Gardeners.


From the Image Gallery

Common lady fern
Athyrium filix-femina

Common lady fern
Athyrium filix-femina

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