Ferns are a great choice for almost any garden, they are generally deer resistant and provide beauty and interest to woodland gardens. Find the right choice for your site from the options below:
Five Finger Maidenhair Fern is a lovely woodland native, thriving in moist humus rich soils. Preferring cool summer temperatures, Adiantum pedatum is hardy all the way to zone 2. The bright green airy fronds are made more attractive by the shiny wiry black stems. Since Maidenhair Fern spreads by rhizomes on the surface of moist soils, it can eventually form an excellent woodland groundcover. This fern will not perform well in full sun or hot summer sites.
‘Regal Red’ Japanese Painted Fern lights up shady spots with a beautiful combination of silver and burgundy red coloration on the delicately cut fronds. The dark red is displayed primarily on the interior of the frond, and it leaches outward to bright silver outer edges. Although a slow spreader, Athyrium nipponicum ‘Regal Red’ will eventually colonize a shady location well.
'Ghost' Lady Fern is a hybrid of A. filix-femina and A. nipponicum 'Pictum'. This fern combines the best of its parents in its brilliant silvery coloring on a light green background. The habit of Athyrium x 'Ghost' is somewhat upright and the color lights up dark spots amazingly. A deciduous clump which slowly widens, 'Ghost' was found in a garden in Richmond, Virginia as a spontaneous seedling.
Brilliance™ Autumn Fern was selected for its striking new fronds which emerge throughout the spring and summer in shades of salmon, copper and orange. The semi-evergreen fronds then mature to glossy medium green, adding a bright note to woodland settings. Since Autumn Ferns spread slowly by rhizomes, they make a good groundcover in shady sites. Consistent moisture is needed to promote new frond production.
PRN Preferred: Bronze new growth all spring and summer. Looks good throughout most of the winter.
Evergreen Wood Fern has dark green, leathery foliage and tolerates relatively dry sites and deep shade. Dryopteris marginalis is an evergreen clump that performs well on forest edges.
‘Jurassic Gold’ (‘Hollasic’) Wallich’s Wood Fern has amazing spring fronds in shades of yellow, gold and orange. The semi-evergreen foliage matures to bright green in summer, forming an attractive clump that lights up shady locations. Dryopteris ‘Jurassic Gold’ is named for is named for the Jurassic Coast in Southern England, but I assume that is also a nod to the fact that Ferns are a very ancient plant group. The very striking fronds make ‘Jurassic Gold’ a good container candidate for shady locations.
Dixie Wood Fern has shiny green foliage which is large and dramatic. It is a vigorous cross between the Log Fern and the Southern Wood Fern. A large, semi-evergreen clump. 2021 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
Cinnamon Fern has medium green somewhat coarse foliage. The fertile fronds are cinnamon colored, and very upright. Osmunda cinnamomea is very wet site tolerant, and a deciduous creeper. Great in rain gardens.
Royal Fern is a tall broad fronded fern that thrives in wet, shady sites. At 48", it towers over other native ferns and stands out because of its coarse open texture. Osmunda regalis is a deciduous spreader, slowly colonizing moist woodland settings. When provided with consistent moisture, Royal Fern ever tolerates full sun. An excellent tall addition to stream sides, ponds, rain gardens and wet meadows.
Christmas Fern has green, shiny foliage. Polystichum acrostichoides is an evergreen spreader that looks like a Boston Fern. It hugs the ground in winter.
PRN Preferred: We love the hardiness and the neat evergreen foliage of this fern.