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Zones 5-9
product image
Zones 5-9

Soft Shield Fern

Polystichum setiferum Divisilobum Group

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Soft Shield Fern

Polystichum setiferum Divisilobum Group

34128 reviews
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Special Features
Zone Map
Easy Care
Pet Friendly

Botanical Name

Polystichum setiferum Divisilobum Group

Outdoor Growing zone

5-9

Mature Height

Mature Width

2-3

Sun needs

Partial Sun, Shade

DOES NOT SHIP TO

AK, CA, HI, PR

The Soft Shield Fern is a striking and beautiful fern with fronds that are divided and divided again, creating a wonderful lacy look that makes this plant incredibly ‘ferny’. Despite the soft look it is not delicate, and is an excellent and easy garden fern. The stems of the fronds are covered in soft brown hairs that make a lovely contrast, and they rise up and over to almost horizontal, making radiating star patterns. It rises to around 2 feet tall in a clump about 3 feet wide, and it’s perfect in the front of shady beds, in woodlands, by water or on rocky slopes. Contrast it with bold-leaf larger ferns or with Hosta and large-leaf shrubs.

  • Beautiful finely divided fronds – the ‘ferniest’ of the ferns
  • Fronds arch over almost horizontally, creating a star pattern
  • Soft, furry brown stem contrasts with evergreen foliage
  • Easily grown in any shady area
  • Produces baby plantlets directly on the fronds

Partial to light full-shade is ideal for the Soft Shield Fern, and it grows well beneath deciduous trees or in shadow zones. It does best in soil rich in organic materials, that are moist but drain, but not in stagnant, wet soil. It doesn’t have pest or disease problems, and both deer and rabbits leave it alone. Remove dead or dying fronds as needed, and cut back completely in spring if it becomes untidy and damaged in severe winters. The baby plants that develop on older fronds can be grown in pots until they are large enough to plant in the garden.

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