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Ferns are among the most unique garden plant and one of the most ancient. While they're often pictured in rain forests, ferns can also grow happily in desert canyons and be deciduous or evergreen, depending on the climate. Ferns are especially useful in landscaping as many can withstand blistering cold winters as well as intense summer heat for year-round collar. If you're looking for low-maintenance landscaping ideas or want to fill out space in a garden or beneath a tree, look no further than these graceful plants. Ferns may not flower with a brilliant pop of color, but they offer great variation in texture, color, form, and height. The ways to use ferns in landscaping are seemingly endless: they can be used as background plants, specimen plants, in groupings, or as groundcover. They can also make excellent anchors for a shade garden by adding structure and foliage that lasts throughout the season.
Ferns can even be interplanted with nearly all other perennials. They pair very well with many plants and will not overgrow as many other plants will. Their subtly also ensures they will not clash with more vibrant plants but rather draw the eye to these accents.
Christmas ferns, Chain Ferns, and Cinnamon Ferns are best sellers. No matter your landscaping needs, there is likely a fern that is ready to fill the space. Some ferns work well as ground cover with a spreading habit to create a bright green carpet between tall flowering plants, such as the oak fern or the beech fern, which boasts soft grey-green-blue fronds. Others work best to accent flowering plants without detracting from or clashing with them. Of course, their greatest use for many is as shade landscaping to fill shady areas in which nothing else grows. Keep in mind most ferns love moist, warm climates in zones 5-9, although some species are hardy to zone 11. If you live in a colder climate, be sure to select cold fern species. There are also species that tolerate low moisture conditions.