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New Zealand Native Plants

Updated on October 9, 2016
Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie loves gardening and spends many hours enjoying it with birds singing in the tree tops it is very relaxing and satisfying in my old age

New Frond growing on a Silver Fern Bush

Photo Credit -
Photo Credit -

New Zealand Native Plants

The silver tree fern is known to grow to heights of 10 metres or more its crown is dense, and the fronds tend to be about 4 metres long and have a silver-white coloration on the undersides.

it is now nearly summer 2016 - 2017 the ferns are growing and look very nice after a hard winter, lots of winds and more rain than usual in the winter months.

New Zealand native plants have become increasingly popular in gardens and many can be easily propagated by seeds, like the ferns.

The Asplenium bulbiferous, (hen and chickens fern), is a handsome fern for the garden lover who wishes to grow some ferns in their garden.

This fern bears sporelings on its leaf surfaces, these sporelings or young ferns can be detached and potted up, or if left on the plant they will fall to the ground and root down where they land.

Lover of ferns

Silver Fern (ponga is the maori name). Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
Silver Fern (ponga is the maori name). Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
Native ferns hanging in an archway. Photo Credit -  Elsie Hagley
Native ferns hanging in an archway. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Summer 2016 is nearly here

It is now the middle of Spring and this week has been very wet (80 mm of rain yesterday,} the ground is very wet, the ferns have been knocked to pieces with the strong wind we have had in the last week, but they will recover quickly. and new growth will appear.

Ferns offer a unique and diverse flora that includes hundreds of outstanding garden plants.

80 percent of these native plants in New Zealand are found nowhere else in the world.

They are adapted to climates ranging from rugged mountains to subtropical lowlands.

Nurseries and garden centers have responded to the increased interest and are stocking a wide range of NZ natives, ranging from groundcovers to tall trees.

The selection available is considerable, they include many new hybrid natives which have been specially selected and bred in nurseries and are distinct from native plants encountered in the wild bush country.

These hybrid and selected natives often have improved growth habits, showier floral displays, or attractive variegated or colored leaves.

I enjoy the color of flax in my garden it brings in the tui and bellbirds

I love the native plants encountered in the wild, especially the silver ferns (pongas) and ferns like the ones in this photo which hang down in an archway, still, it's nice to see added colour in the garden.

Ponga Trees Along Shores

Try Growing Ferns

New Zealand ferns are beautiful and unique a natural heritage, but they are being destroyed.

The amount of land required for food production and human needs is forever increasing and so inevitably some species will disappear altogether.

It is up to us the private garden to help in preserving some of the threatened species of ferns.

You will love their beauty.

As a home gardener consider growing some ferns on your property, it will enhance your surroundings and help compensate for the destruction of those graceful ferns which are being destroyed daily.

Ferns growing in a archway

Ferns growing in a archway in my garden Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.
Ferns growing in a archway in my garden Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.

As you can see from these ferns, they are beautiful to look at, especially as a breeze catches them and they sway back and forward, I cannot believe the beauty of them.

Their characteristic in my garden setting help to impart a feeling of tranquility and the growth and shape of them remind me of a walk in the native forest, that I love so much, right here in my own garden.

Growing ferns

New Zealand Ferns. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
New Zealand Ferns. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

In natural environment in the bush, ferns flourish magnificently, but a little extra care is required in a home garden.


Ferns will not thrive if planted in sour, cold heavy clay.

They love decomposed vegetation for example leaf mould and peat to which has been added equal quantities of gritty, stony matter to keep it open and porous, to which old animal manure added is most beneficial.

Ferns are not happy in drought conditions, so water is required if dry.

But on the contrary, ferns can be grown with far less labour than is involved in the cultivation of many of the popular flowering plants.

Birdnest Ferns ARE Tree Ferns

Growning Ferns

Would you consider growing ferns in your own garden?

See results

Bush orchid

Bush orchids in my garden. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.
Bush orchids in my garden. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.

This bush orchid is in flower,t his one is down the bottom of the garden growing on a tree trunk.

It is another form of beauty that can be found in the bush growing on trees which don't see too much sun, they are usually growing on the south side of a tree, if they are in flower you will certainly smell them as you walk past them.

Bush orchid not in flower

Bush orchid shading under a overhang. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.
Bush orchid shading under a overhang. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.

Bush orchid also growing in the archway as you walk through.

This orchid is not in flower at the moment (late spring).

Autumn Fern Scenery

Autumn Fern Scenery.  Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.
Autumn Fern Scenery. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley.

Nice sheltered shady corner, an ideal spot for shade-loving ferns, while the silver fern standing proud in the middle of this photo, a picture of beauty and still getting sunlight, stretching their fronds out to the heavens.

Ferns around the Pond.

Ferns around pond in my garden. Photo credit - Elsie Hagley
Ferns around pond in my garden. Photo credit - Elsie Hagley

Ferns make a nice setting around the pond, with the water lilies, you can see a silver fern (ponga) in the back ground.

The silver ferns, always a nice setting in any garden, but they require shelter from the frosts.

They have been knocked around as we have had two storms with winds up to 100 km a hour.

© 2012 Elsie Hagley

Do you like Ferns growing in your garden

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    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      @sierradawn lm: Ferns are very interesting and in the hot summer they seem to look their best when other plants are showing the lack of water. I do enjoy them in my garden but I live in the ranges in East Taranaki NZ and they are seen everywhere when going for bush walks, but I still admire their beauty.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      4 years ago

      I love ferns so much! All sorts of ferns grow wild in Oregon mountains. Living now in Southern California, I have been wanting to have tropical ferns. Yours are so beautiful!

    • chrisilouwho profile image


      4 years ago

      These are gorgeous ferns! They don't seem to last in my garden but I might try some indoors soon.

    • norma-holt profile image


      5 years ago

      Love ferns and you seem to have many of the varieties that grow well in Australia. I have tried a few but have not had much success with the big ones. You have inspired me to try again. Hugs

    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      @Snakesmum: Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Nice to know you have been to New Zealand.

      Was that plant with black stems the NZ fern or Ponga?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Loved the ferns when we visited NZ - there was one plant which had black stems, but don't remember its name. That was a really interesting plant. Nice lens. Blessed

    • TaraWojt profile image

      Tara Wojtaszek 

      6 years ago

      One of the things I love most about New Zealand are all the beautiful plants, especially the ferns.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Really lovely lens. I would love to add them to my garden, but I would look deeper into whether it is a good idea to install them in Northern California gardens. They are perfect for your area. Angel Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ferns are such beautiful plants and they can really get big in size adding a nice shady area.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Actually, without much work, I have ferns growing in my garden and on the perimeter of my yard. Love them.

    • swarupreddyk profile image


      6 years ago

      I love plants..thanks for great info.Im giving you a squid like..

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Living in North America, I have different species of ferns growing in my garden. I always think it is great when we appreciate our native plants that are perfectly suited for our climate, soils and wildlife.

    • intermarks profile image


      6 years ago

      I do see many people growing fern in their garden, and I think they are beautiful plants.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      You have made me reconsider ferns in my garden. Some grow through from my neighbour's garden and I am constantly pulling them out, but maybe I should let them grow and see how they look amongst my murraya. Spring Blessings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice to see this lens featured on the homepage :) Congrats

    • MarilynThompson profile image

      Marilyn Thompson 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      Visited Christchurch a couple years back in between earthquakes indeed it is a very beautiful place!

      Thanks for the lens.

    • ferginarg lm profile image

      ferginarg lm 

      6 years ago

      It's great seeing a lens about plants from home. :-) Thanks, I enjoyed reading this, it would be great if you put a photo of the underside of the silver fern to show people why it's called so.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful plants.. Thanks for sharing.. :)

    • LynetteBell profile image


      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      We live in Christchurch and have a purely native garden. My husband won't hear of any other plants. Ferns have a calming effect I think.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      we are planning a trip to NZ this summer, will keep an eye out for these hehehe :)

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      Nana, you are so lucky to live in such a stunning country. As was to be expected, yet another lens from you with stunning photographs and engaging and interesting descriptions. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congratulations for being featured on Squidoo's 2012 Spring Gardening Showcase and Blessed by a fellow Gardener and Squidoo Angel

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Maybe we need a few ferns in our garden. Beautiful photos.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      They are some really unique plants growing in New Zealand! Thanks for sharing, I love the pictures.

    • Glenn619 profile image


      6 years ago

      The greenery that surrounds these plants is just too good, great lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love growing frens in my garden, I find they are easy to grow and make your garden look lovely and lush.

    • Rosaquid profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh, so Beautiful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Those plants can also be found in some parts of Asia.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I was just here to be enchanted a few days ago...returning to congratulate you on another front page seems to be becoming a habit, how nice for you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I now know more about New Zealand.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I would love it. There was one little one growing naturally, and I tried to nurture. I guess that killed it. Nice lens. Beautiful ferns -- I am envious.

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 

      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed your photos and the info you shared. We have some spectacular ferns out in the wooded parcels on our property. After watching one of the videos you showed here, I know how to propagate them into my yard and I am interested in some NZ type ferns as well. We have a huge pond so ferns are on my wish list for the main attractions surrounding it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ferns are beautiful and I liked seeing some specialty plants of a place I've never visited but seen on television. *blessed by a squid angel*

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Green has got to be the colour that I associate with New Zealand, probably because of the grassy landscape

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      6 years ago

      Yes I do.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love ferns.. but I don't know if they would grow in Kuwait! :) Blessed!

    • chezchazz profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Beautiful plants and garden. The photos are great - wanted to reach out and touch that silver fern.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful green plants! Definitely relaxing to look at and it feels very tropical.

    • dwnovacek profile image


      6 years ago

      I love ferns - thank you for sharing these with us! Angel Blessed!

    • suzy-t profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the tropical feel a fern can bring to a garden. You have given the fern the justice it deserves in your lens. Blessed...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love ferns and I thoroughly enjoyed your lens. Thank you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love ferns, and these are all just great looking plants. And, what a nice lens, its like taking a walk outside and getting breath of fresh air.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! I would love to come and see it for myself. Too bad it's so far away.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Wow, these ferns are huge! We have several native varieties of ferns planted in our shade and rain garden, but nothing that compares with the size of these green monsters. I really enjoyed visiting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such gorgeous plants - they make a garden look like a prehistoric jungle! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • iWriteaLot profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Y'all have some FERNS there in New Zealand! Those are HUGE! I like that bush orchid, too. That looks interesting. Wonder if it would grow here in Kentucky?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful. I remember NZ plants so well as I grew up there, so green and lush.

    • jolou profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your photos! Very pretty. I have a fern in my front yard.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ferns look lovely in the garden, I should consider them for my home garden too.


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