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Maidenhair Fern

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Planting Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Plant Type: Deciduous
Light requirements: Partial Sun, Shade
Soil Conditions: Moist, Wet
Height at Maturity: 2 - 3 ft
Growth Rate: Fast
Fragrant: No
Qty Description Regular Price Member Price
Maidenhair Ferns 3.5 Inch Pots (1 Plant) $9.95 $8.95
Maidenhair Ferns 3.5 Inch Pots (3 Plants) $28.95 $25.95
Maidenhair Ferns Bareroot (5 tubers) $12.95 $12.95
Maidenhair Ferns Bareroot (10 tubers) $19.95 $19.95
Maidenhair Ferns Bareroot (30 tubers) $53.95 $53.95

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Shipping Details:

Maidenhair Ferns are available in 2 sizes:

  • Bare root tubers
  • 3.5 inch pots (Northern Maidenhair Ferns - five fingered fern) Note: Available in early June 2015.

Orders shipping to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY are subject to a 20% handling charge due to additional plant preparation and shipping surcharges.

Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum, are pretty and delicate. Maidenhair Fern's have wiry, purple-brown petioles and feathery, circular fronds that start out growing outward in a flat, fan-like position - much like the Ginkgo tree. Maidenhair Fern's are slow spreading and non-invasive ferns.

How to Grow: This fern plant remains attractive from spring to fall when planted in humus-rich, loose, well-drained soil that is kept moist at all times. Give them a cool site in part to full shade. Plants can be propagated by dividing the creeping rhizomes in early spring, just as they emerge. Rhizomes should be planted just below the surface.

Landscape uses: Maidenhair ferns add a delicate touch to the shade garden. Plant them with hostas, astilbes, fringed bleeding hearts, lungworts (Pulmonaria), toad lilies (Tricyrtis), and woodland wildflowers.


Planting and caring for bare root ferns, evergreen ferns and container ferns:

Fern plants grow mostly in lightly shaded to fully shaded areas. They prefer moist, rich humus soil with a slightly acid pH (5.3 to 5.5 pH range). Sphagnum peat moss is good to add to the soil for holding moisture and will add some acid to the soil as it decomposes. 

The hole should not only be large enough to hold the tuber, but allowing at least an inch or two from the top of the tuber to the top of the hole. The smaller ferns can be planted about 18 to 24 inches apart. The edible Ostrich ferns, Christmas ferns and Royal Ferns grow larger and should be planted no closer than 24 inches apart.

Top with a good layer of mulch (shredded bark mulch, aged compost or aged manure mix) or a light layer of straw for added moisture and to keep the ground cool. Water as needed to keep the soil moist.  As the ground warms in late spring, the fronds will begin sprouting.


Deciding which end of the tuber is up can be daunting. Sometimes the tip is visible on the top portion and other times there will be root hairs extending from the bottom. If in doubt, the tuber can be planted in a sideways position.


Cutting the fall die back to the ground and applying a fresh layer of mulch will help to protect the fern tubers from popping out of the ground over winter freeze/thaw cycles as well as from squirrels or other critters digging them up for winter food.



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