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Maidenhair Fern - An Easy Shade Fern Favorite

Maidenhair FernAdiantum pedatum is an easy-to-grow, gorgeously bright-green fern that thrives in zones 3-11

As a non-flowering plant, maidenhair ferns produce showy foliage and love part-shade, dappled light with a bit of sun. The soil requirements for maidenhair ferns are acidic, well-draining, and moist. These plants are native to wet areas and grow as understory plants on river banks, waterfall banks, and rocky outcrops along wetlands. These plants will thrive in the ground in raised beds or container gardens so long as they have plenty of water.

Maidenhair Fern is Easy to care for as indoor plants or in outdoor gardens

Maidenhair ferns are easy to add texture and vivid color to a landscape. They do well in pots with rich, organic soil that is well-drained. Plan on watering them often as they love their toes wet. These plants do not have many pests or disease issues and are relatively easy to grow. Add them to a pot to fill and create green space around other flowering plants, or plant them in the ground on the edge of shady places in your 



These plants add beautiful vivid color and texture to the landscape in spring, summer, and early fall. They are excellent in woodland gardens and shady pathways. They grow well under most trees, making them an ideal replacement for grasses in shaded areas. They are native to North America.

Maidenhair Ferns Thrives in humid conditions indoors

Water is the primary concern with maidenhair ferns. Water at least once per week and mist daily to keep the plant hydrated. They grow in humid conditions, so misting is necessary when grown indoors.

Plant a few and let them spread

Maidenhair ferns spread by root rhizomes and will form dense colonies of vivid green on their own. They are deciduous plants and shed their leaves in the fall. Their beautifully textured leaves are the mainstay of color, but spring foliage produces pink fiddleheads. Brown or black stems beautifully offset the vivid green leaves.

Maidenhair Fern - Vivid Green Texture with Pink Spring Fiddleheads

Maidenhair ferns mature at 1-2 1/2 feet in height with an overall spread that ranges from 1 1 1/2 feet. Their main attraction is the gorgeous vivid green leaves that contrast beautifully with their dark brown or black steams. Rates are easy to grow with few plant pests or diseases; maidenhair ferns are excellent for beginners. There are 250 varieties of Maidenhair ferns available, and each does remarkably well in zones 3-8 and, with extra water, will thrive in zone 11. These plants do well with cold weather as they are deciduous and will drop their leaves in the fall.


The Maidenhair Fern grows well with Hosta and Caladium plants, which are about the same size and offer a beautiful way to add color to shady spots in your yard. 

Latin name: Adiantum pedatum

Hardy planting zone: 3 to 11

Mature height: 1 to 2 1/2 feet

Spread: 1 to 1 1/2 feet

Bloom season: Non-flowering

Sun: Part to full shade

Maidenhair Fern - TN Nursery

Maidenhair Fern

The Maidenhair Fern is a delicate, deciduous plant with finely divided, fan-shaped fronds and distinctive black stems, adding an elegant touch to shaded gardens and moist woodlands. It is an aesthetically pleasing plant that offers a range of benefits when used in landscaping. Its unique characteristics and visual appeal make it famous for outdoor and indoor spaces. The Maidenhair is prized for its delicate leaves and long lifespan. The scientific name is Adiantum SPP, and it's part of 250 species of these plants, including the Northern, Delta, and Southern Maidenhair ferns. The Greek part of the plants official name means unwetted, and it gets that name from its ability to shed water without truly getting damp. These plants are native to the Himalayas, East Asia, and the eastern part of North America. Maidenhair Fern Characteristics The Adiantum spp are prized for their fan-shaped leaves. They are known to make great houseplants and usually grow between one and two feet tall and the same in width. Their stems are wiry black, while the leaves are bright green. Gardeners can expect them to reach their full height in three years, and they can live up to 15 years with proper care. Best Places to Grow Maidenhair Fern Adiantum SPP grows well in pots, containers, and terrariums, and they can be replanted as they outgrow their containers. In addition to making great container plants, they can be planted in shade gardens and hosta gardens. Benefits of Planting Maidenhair Fern The Adiantum SPP is known for its air purification qualities. The leaves draw in airborne toxins and are used as nutrients. This feature helps them clean the air wherever they are planted. They also release moisture, which can help combat dry indoor air. When the Adiantum SPP is planted outdoors, it can help stabilize loose soil and provide cover for wildlife, including frogs, lizards, and birds. In fact, birds will sometimes use the dried frons to line their nests. Preferred Maidenhair Fern Companion Plants The Adiantum SPP can be grown with a variety of other flowers and ferns, including the strawberry begonia, coral bells, ginger, woodland geraniums, bloodroot, hostas, hellebores, and pulmonarias. Gardeners can enjoy the calmness of the Adiantum SPP indoors and outdoors. They make great potted plants, and they look wonderful around water features and along hillsides. They can also be combined with many other types of ferns and flowers to create eye-catching garden beds.

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