Plants have varying sunlight needs. Some plants, such as cacti, can thrive in direct sunlight for hours on end. Others, like ferns, prefer shady or dappled light. What about Macho ferns?
Macho ferns are natives of North America. They get their name from their large, tough leaves that can grow up to three feet long. They are usually deep green, but some varieties have bronze or purple-tinted leaves, bringing a unique color to your landscape.
In terms of sunlight, Macho ferns fall somewhere in the middle. They can tolerate some direct sun, but they prefer filtered or dappled sunlight. If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to give it some afternoon shade.
When grown in full sun, it will usually tolerate it for a little while. However, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to dry out.
Why Macho Ferns Can’t Tolerate Direct Sun
Macho ferns are shade-loving plants, and there are a few reasons why they can’t handle too much direct sunlight.
For one, they come from humid environments. They’re typically found in woodlands or near streams and ponds, where there is plenty of moisture in the air. In dry, sunny conditions, they quickly lose moisture through their leaves. As a result, this can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy.
Another reason why they don’t like the direct sun is that they have sensitive leaves. The leaves are covered in tiny pores, which help the plant breathe.
However, these same pores make the leaves vulnerable to damage from UV rays. When exposed to too much sunlight, the leaves can get sunburned, which will cause them to turn brown and eventually die.
Benefits of Growing Macho Ferns in the Sun
While Macho ferns don’t love direct sunlight, there are still some benefits to growing them in sunny spots. For one, the sun can bring out the plant’s color. If you have a variety of bronze or purple-tinted leaves, exposure to sunlight will intensify these colors.
Additionally, doing so can also make them more drought-tolerant. When grown in shady spots, they’re more likely to suffer from root rot and other moisture-related problems. However, when grown in sunny conditions, their roots are better able to dry out, and they’re less likely to experience these problems.
Being in a drier state means that fungus and other pests are also less likely to bother them. So, if you live in an area with hot summers and dry conditions, growing Macho ferns in the sun can actually be beneficial.
How to Care for Macho Ferns in Direct Sunlight
To help your Macho fern deal with direct sunlight, you can try a few different things.
Make sure that the plant is getting enough water. Macho ferns need moist soil, so water the plant regularly, especially during hot weather. You can also mist the leaves of the plant to help keep them hydrated.
Place Under Shade
Another way to protect your plant from direct sunlight is to provide some shade. You can do this by planting the fern under a tree or shrub or by putting up a sun umbrella or canopy. You might also want to move your plant indoors during the hottest months.
Protect the Soil
The soil around your plant can also help protect the plant from the sun. Mulching the soil with organic material, such as bark chips or leaves, will help keep the ground moist and cool. This will provide some relief for the plant during hot weather.
Make sure that you’re fertilizing your plant properly. Ferns need nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help them grow and have fuller leaves. However, too much nitrogen can actually scorch the leaves of the plant. Apply fertilizer to the soil around the fern, being careful not to get any on the leaves.
Can Macho Ferns Take Full Sun: Final Thoughts
Macho ferns can definitely take full sun but only for a little while. The plant doesn’t have defense mechanisms against the sun, so it’s important to take extra care of the plant when exposed to sunlight.
If you’re left with no choice but to grow them under direct sunlight, follow some of the suggestions listed above to help your Macho fern survive. It may take more care and attention, but it’s definitely doable.