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Zones 3-9
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Zones 3-9

Christmas Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides

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Christmas Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides

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Special Features
Zone Map
Easy Care
Pet Friendly
Winter Color

Botanical Name

Polystichum acrostichoides

Outdoor Growing zone

3-9

Mature Height

1-2

Mature Width

Sun needs

Partial Sun, Shade

DOES NOT SHIP TO

AK, CA, HI, PR

The Christmas Fern is a native fern that grows naturally all through the east, and has been valued in gardens since the earliest settlements. It is evergreen to at least the end of the year, even in cold zones. The long, leathery fronds are up to 2 feet long, with broad leaflets along them, a little like a ladder. Their tough construction makes this fern more resistant to dryness than most others, so it’s a great choice for rocky slopes and drier soil beneath trees and shrubs. Mix it with other shade-loving plants to enrich the look of your beds, whether you have a woodland garden or something smaller and more structured.

  • Bold leathery fronds of rich green last through winter
  • A native fern ideal for natural gardens and woodlands
  • Resistant to dryness and cold
  • Valuable on rocky slopes for stabilization and soil improvement
  • Untroubled by deer and rabbits

Partial to full shade suits the Christmas Fern perfectly, and it is hardy even in zone 3, while also growing in zone 9. It grows best in moist soils, but avoid heavy, wet clays which can rot the crown. It tolerates drier soils too, and will grow even in the pockets of earth on rocky slopes. It is free of pests, generally never touched by diseases, and even left alone by both rabbits and deer. Trimming dead and damaged fronds in early spring is all the care it needs, and even that is optional – how’s that for a low-maintenance plant.

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