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By Janetw

West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

It's about two lovely healthy plants. One is a Hosta and one is a Fern. However they are both quite large and swamping the space around my little garden pool making it difficult to get to garden ornaments etc. I would like to cut them back a bit but I don't want to kill them. Can I and if so must I wait until Autumn as ideally I would like to do it now?

On plant Athyrium filix-femina



Hi Janet and welcome to GoY. Do you know which fern it is? You can cut the Hosta back but it will continue to grow in size each year and you might want t consider moving both it and the fern if that too is large.

6 Jun, 2017


Thanks Moon_growe. I think the fern is a Athyrium filix femina. I'm not sure. It was growing elsewhere in the garden when I moved into the house many years ago. The garden pool was added a few years later and this fern self-seeded shortly after. Moving either plant isn't really an option though as they are both too big and too deeply rooted for me to be able to move them. Cutting them back or leaving them seem the only options. I did move a smaller fern recently but it hasn't looked as healthy since. I expect it will recover soon.

6 Jun, 2017


Well if you want to get to your pool and the garden ornaments you have little choice really but to remove them...

6 Jun, 2017


You don't have to remove them entirely. They both can be divided. Lift out the entire plant with a spade. Then half or quarter them through the crown. Replant just a quarter. The remaining pieces you can plant elsewhere, give them away or throw them on the compost heap to be recycled. An old kitchen bread knife cuts through the crown like butter, or just use the spade. It's easy and kind of fun.

You can do it now. They are both resilient plants.

6 Jun, 2017


Well worth a try Bathgate.

6 Jun, 2017


That fern's a particularly nice one so i can see why you want to keep it. Good luck.

6 Jun, 2017


I just divided one of my own hostas just now. With the right tools, it took me all of 20 minutes. Throw some organic fertilizer into the new planting hole and give them a good drink unless it's already raining like it is here. They will be fine.

7 Jun, 2017

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