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Harts Tongue Fern

Last years leaves on Hart's Tongue Ferns.....leave on and let nature take its course when it throws up this years leaves and last years will just shrivel up and disappear back into the ground as dust, or go round and snips off all last years leaves to make it look tidy(!).  Answers on a postcard please....


  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,482
    I usually try to tug them off just before the new heads form.
    They tend to look messy in a smallish garden, and I find mine very sporey dusty.
    Also (at least in our garden) the snails camp out underneath the leaves so a good opportunity to tidy them too.

    I find the old leaves snap and tug off quite easily, so a job you can do without having to find or go get something to cut them with.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    edited May 2019
    Depends whether you’ve got around to it before the new croziers unfurl ... if I haven’t I leave them be ... I’ve found that doing this doesn’t bring the world to an end 😉 

    You just have to be prepared to carefully snip off any that become unsightly later in the season  ... if you can be bothered/have the time or if your knees will bend enough to get down there to do it 😆 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 484
    edited May 2019
    Haha, thanks Dovefromabove. After 10 years of carefully cutting around new leaves I’ve realised I’m getting too old for this. I did go to Kew last week and they seemed to just leave them on but I guess they have bigger things to worry about. I do confess that I do like it when it’s done as looks more tidy. I was just wondering if I left them on at which point will the new leaves hide the scraggy old ones and I can get off doing it. Looks like from your comments I won’t. Oh well, best get me knee pads out and put hot water on!!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    I’ve left it too late this year ... I’m leaving them. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    I don't remember cutting off old foliage on mine when I had one.
    Maybe I was just slatternly  :/

    I'd go for the option of waiting until there are some you can't bear seeing any longer and head out with the scissors   ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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