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Dryopteris (various) Ferns

I have a number of Dryopteris ferns that are planted in a shady and dry area of the garden which I understood was OK conditions for them.  However, given the lack of rain and heat we've had this summer, it appears that some of them have simply died.  The crowns have gone soft and there is no obvious sign of life.  Can I assume that they are completely dead?  Is there any benefit in just leaving them in the ground to see if there is any new growth in the spring.  

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  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    Did you have any fronds at all this year?  I have lots and some are going over early, but none died despite our very sandy dry soil
  • Yes, lots of normal growth in the spring and all doing fine until July came and then the ones that now seem dead all went brown. I’ve cut off the dead leaves and this is when I noticed the crowns had gone soft. I think I might just leave them be and see what happens. I’ve lost a few perennials to the drought too so it won’t be the only thing lost. I know it probably sounds daft but I tend to avoid watering in dry weather as I like to think it toughens them up and avoids getting into a cycle of more growth more watering. I’m also on a water meter so it can get costly. My water butts ran dry in May. Maybe this year it was all too much. 
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999
    Give them the benefit of the doubt Tim ; they may well have gone into dormancy early as a response to the weather .
    I've a couple of Matteuccia struthiopteris ferns which always wither away during July leaving only their somewhat softish crowns to 'ride the storm' so to speak .
    All the other ferns have got through though .
    Yours may well be OK ; let's hope so !
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