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Northern Maidenhair Fern

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A wonderful low maintenance selection perfect for adding delicate texture to gardens and patio containers; arching fronds of light green turn beautiful golden yellow in the fall; prefers shaded areas with rich and moist well drained soil

Characteristics

Species:
pedatum
Average Landscape Height:
18 inches
Average Landscape Width:
24 inches
Genus:
Adiantum
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
arching
Canopy:
closed
Growth Rate:
slow
Pruning:
best if not pruned
Summer Foliage Color:
light green
Fall Color:
gold
Maximum Light:
partial shade
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Pollution Tolerance:
high

Ornamental Features

Northern Maidenhair Fern is primarily valued in the garden for its cascading habit of growth. Its crinkled ferny compound leaves are light green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous gold in the fall. The black stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Northern Maidenhair Fern is an herbaceous perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

Planting & Growing

Northern Maidenhair Fern will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This species is native to parts of North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.

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