I just bought some potted ferns i want to plant in a big long planter. The planter location is elevated and partially under shelter. Can i plant and leave them outdoors now? April 27. Lowest overnight temp this upcoming 14 day forecast is 2 degrees.
Or could they be covered for cooler nights like 2 degrees?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. This is a tricky time of year when a few warm days can be followed by unseasonably cool temperatures. The ability of your potted ferns to withstand cold temperatures will depend on what type of fern they are. Tropical ferns will be much more susceptible to cold than native ferns. The average last frost date in Toronto is around May 4th and dates from April 30th to May 20th can be found depending on the source. The safest thing at this point is to keep the ferns in their containers where you can bring them indoors or at least up against your home if the overnight temperature dips into the low single digits. Covering plants can also help to prevent frost damage outdoors. Cover them in the early evening before the sun goes down to preserve some daytime heat. Wait until mid-May to plant your ferns into the large planter.
Best of luck!
April 27, 2021