I ordered 200 ferns for a spring planting. Half of these were the Bracken Fern variety which ships as a bare root. In my case it looked like a small 2-3 inch brown stick. Planting these was my first experience and I wasn't sure what they should/shouldn't look like. However many of them were crumbling and seemed like they were rotted. Since the bulk of them appeared that way I supposed that was normal.
I planted all in a well drained, moist, shaded area along with the 100 other ferns I ordered. The planting area has many varieties of moss and native ferns growing.
I gave all the ferns a couple of months to show. Not one Bracken ferns sprouted. About 85 of the other ferns sprouted at various intervals.
When I contacted Tennessee Wholesale Nursery they basically replied tough luck. Your claim is beyond 30 days.
So beware. Especially if you're spending a few hundred dollars on ferns.