Will Foxtail Fern Survive a Freeze

Last Updated on June 16th, 2023

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Surviving a freeze can be a challenge for all plants, but with the right conditions, foxtail fern can survive the freeze.


How Cold Can a Foxtail Fern Take?

The ideal lighting condition for a foxtail fern plant is a dappled shadow with bright, indirect light. However, it’s possible to cultivate them in full sunshine in some locations. The foxtail plant can survive in temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Its above-ground parts may wither in the cold, but its tuberous roots will continue to thrive in the ground.

Foxtail Fern - Will they survive a freeze?

How Can You Bring it Back after Freezing?

After all risk of frost has passed, continue to water the plants and give them a very mild fertilizer application. Plants that are more susceptible to harm from freezing will eventually become annuals and cannot survive the ordeal.

However, in rare cases, the roots of perennials harmed by freezing temperatures will sustain minor damage, allowing you to successfully divide the plant and replant its parts.


How Do You Keep Foxtail Fern over Winter?

For indoor ferns

If you live in Climate Zone 15 or lower, you should bring your foxtail fern inside for the winter. To facilitate their relocation, ferns cultivated in these locations should be kept in containers.

Put the fern where it can get plenty of light, preferably in front of a window. If you don’t have any windows that get direct sunlight, you can grow a fern indoors by suspending a fluorescent grow lamp 12 to 18 inches above the plant.

Remove any wilted, damaged, or dead leaves from the plant. If the foxtail fern has grown to be too huge, prune it so that it is about one-third smaller.

During the winter, you should refrain from fertilizing the foxtail fern. Because of this, the fern is able to enter a resting phase known as dormancy.

Once a week, or anytime the soil appears to be dry to the touch, give the foxtail fern some water to a depth of three inches, water the soil.


For outdoor ferns

After the fern has experienced its first severe frost, if it is growing in Sunset Climate Zone 16 or a higher zone, remove any diseased or dead foliage from it.

A layer of mulch four inches thick should be applied to the ground around the foxtail fern. Mulch should only be used if it is coarse and loose, such as huge wood chips or straw. A mulch that is not tightly packed prevents air from reaching the roots of the fern.

If the foxtail fern does not receive any moisture from rain or snowfall, you should water it once a month. You should water the soil until the top three inches of it feel moist.

In order to provide the plant with a period of rest throughout the winter, you should refrain from fertilizing the fern. It’s possible that fertilizing will spur new growth, but that growth won’t survive if the temperatures are too low.

After the final frost date has passed in the spring, mulch should be removed.


Can You Prevent the Roots from Freezing?

Foxtail Ferns are cold-hardy plants and rarely freeze. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to prevent roots from freezing if it is an outdoor plant that’s rooted in the ground.

However, if it is a potted plant, then you can bring it inside when the temperatures reach freezing conditions.


How Can You Tell If It’s Time to Cut it?

The foxtail bush should be pruned in the early spring before it puts out any new growth. First, remove the roots of any wilted, shriveled, or dead fronds.

Then, use clean, sterilized pruning shears to make the incision close to where the plants first sprouted. Take caution not to sever any of the neighboring stems.


Final Thoughts on Foxtail Fern Surviving Freeze

Like with any other plant, there is also a risk of freezing for foxtail fern. Despite this plant being resilient, just one cold night can ruin it for good.

It is essential to protect the plant as much as possible and prevent it from happening.


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