Tried and True
Recommended by 7 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Northern maidenhair fern
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Tolerate: Heavy Shade
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, acidic soils in full shade. Spreads slowly by creeping, branching rhizomes to form large colonies over time.
Northern maidenhair fern is a deciduous, clump-forming, Missouri native fern which typically grows 1.5 to 2' tall and is most frequently found on rich wooded slopes, ravine bottoms and damp shady woods. Features finely-textured, somewhat frilly fronds which have curved stalks and are palmately-divided (i.e., fronds divide into finger-like projections). Wiry stems are reddish-brown to black. Crosiers (coiled young fiddleheads) emerge pink in spring.
No serious insect or disease problems. High summer heat may cause fronds to brown by mid to late summer, particularly if good soil moisture is not maintained and/or plants are grown in too much sun.
Attractive ornamental fern for the shaded border, woodland garden, shaded rock garden or native plant garden. Combine with broad leaves of hostas, caladiums or brunneras. Also effective as an edger along paths in shade gardens.