How Do You Cut Back Ferns?

Use a pair of sharp pruning shears on ferns to ensure clean cuts. Ferns need to be pruned about once a year to ensure a strong growing season the following year.

  1. Choose a time to prune

    Most ferns should be pruned in late winter or early spring, shortly before the growing season starts. Begin pruning ferns when they are 3 or 4 years old.

  2. Identify old fronds

    Look in the center of the plant to find newly growing fronds. Older fronds form a ring around the outside of the fern. These are the ones that need to be cut back.

  3. Cut back the fronds

    Grip the frond firmly by the stem. Using a pair of pruning shears, cut it off as close to the base as possible. Repeat for all the old fronds on the fern.