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Ferns For Zone 3

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Buy Ferns for Zone 3 that are Easy to Grow in the Shade from Tn Nursery

Painted Fern

The Japanese Painted Fern is a perennial that is quite elegant and perfect for gardens. The Japanese Painted Fern gets its name because of its beautiful silver and burgundy markings. This fern also comes in the Lady Fern variety which is equally pretty but not quite as marked as the Painted variety. It is a perfect way to add a little oomph and texture to the shady spots in your yard or garden. The Lady Fern is very closely related, so they are sometimes crossed and make a beautiful hybrid. While the typical fern needs a very damp, fertile soil, this variety of greenery will tolerate a dry land as it is a very hardy variety of fern. But, they do love a rich, damp soil as much as the next fern. They can tolerate some sun, too, unlike many fern varieties, but they will need ample water in any condition. Use it to landscape containers, flower beds, borders around your yard or garden, or just as a ground cover. 

The Japanese Painted Fern is a fern that is very easy to grow.

Ferns for Zone 3 are very easy to grow in the shade

Spreading Wood Fern
Spreading Wood Fern is beautiful, easy to grow addition to the shady parts of a yard or garden. This easy to grow plant is a native species of the woodlands of North America, Europe, and Asia, where it builds on the forest floor along stream banks, in rotting wood and the cracks of rocks. It has a stout, woody base that expands into long creeping fronds.

Ferns for Zone 3 need very little sunlight

The plant opens gracefully with a ruffled look and has triangular to oblong leaves. It provides beautiful lacy ground cover in the shady and moist parts of the yard and garden. Giving color in winter, it can stay green longer through harsher winters than other fern varieties. It requires moist, well-drained soil and partial to full shade. This plant also goes by the names Northern Wood Fern, Arching Wood Fern, Spiny Wood Fern, and Crested Wood Fern.

Ferns For Zone 3

Toothwood Fern- Dryopteris spinulosais

Toothwood Fern- Dryopteris spinulosais

Planting Zone: 3-8 (nearly the entire continental United States)

Mature Height: 12-24 inches

Soil Requirements: widely adaptable, grows successfully in most soils

Increasing Speed: slow-medium

Characteristics: tuberous root, dark green lacy fronds that grow in a spiral from the center mound, propagates through spore dispersal in late summer

Landscaping Uses: borders, backgrounds, fill more substantial spaces, used in cut flower arrangements


The Toothwood Fern or Toothed Wood Fern, sometimes also called the Narrow Buckler Fern, is a beautiful addition to any garden. It has the classic fern shape with dark green, long triangle-shaped fronds that are each made up of hundreds of small leaflets. The Toothwood Fern is a semi-evergreen deciduous perennial. This means that in the northern areas of its zone, it will shed its leaves as the season changes, but in the southern area of its zone, it will remain green all year round. Its deep green color would make a lovely backdrop for other flowering plants, or the size and shape of a mature plant would cover larger spaces beautifully. Because it can be planted in full shade or partial sun, this fern is very versatile and adaptable. It is found to grow successfully in many places other plants can't handle. It has also been found to be resistant to deer and rabbits, meaning you don't have to worry about all your hard work becoming the local wildlife salad bar! The Toothwood Fern has also been found to attract butterflies, so there is no more natural way to add a touch of enchantment and whimsy to your garden or landscaping than with this delicate, yet hardy plant. By far, one of the easiest ferns to grow successfully, the Toothwood Fern is sure to become a fast favorite among gardeners and landscapers of every experience level.

Leatherwood Fern

Leatherwood Fern (Dryopteris Marginalis) is a shade-loving native perennial, found across the continental United States. It is commonly found in damp heavily shaded areas, primarily within forests and woodlands. At maturity, the plant forms a single dense clump, standing two to three feet in height. The plant has distinct curled leaves that grow to 13-15 inches in length. They are of a vibrant gray-green, and velvety to the touch.


In general, the plant prefers loamy, moist soils. However, it is adaptable and can thrive in a variety of soil types as long as it remains sheltered, within a cool area of the garden. The plant excels in regions like the Pacific Northwest where annual rainfall is high. In the wintertime, the leaves retain their color. This hardy, yet elegant fern adds interest to any winter landscape.


The best time to plant Leatherwood Fern bulbs is during early spring. Due to the dense nature of the plant, the bulbs should be spaced at least two feet apart and planted at a depth of two inches. Alternatively, Leatherwood Ferns can be transplanted. Location is crucial to the survival of the plant, so care should be taken to place bulbs or transplants in heavily shaded areas, with little to no sunlight.


The Leatherwood Fern has numerous attributes that make it increasingly popular with the everyday gardener. First, it is resistant to deer, a plague to gardens across the United States. Second, the plant does not spread once it is established, making it easy to maintain within an area of a flowerbed. Third, the plant adds a touch of beauty to areas of the garden that might usually go under-utilized. The plant’s shade-loving nature makes it well-suited for beds that lie along the north and south-facing sides of homes, which tend to receive minimal sunlight.

Lady Fern

Lady fern is notable for its long, lacy leaves, which are lady-like in their elegant appearance. It’s the perfect addition to moist or shady gardens because it’s low-maintenance, requiring little time or attention. Lady fern’s bright green hue provides a welcome pop of color to landscapes or gardens. All this simple, non-flowering plant needs is an average amount of water — keep the soil moist, and you’ll have a happy, flourishing lady fern for many years. This fern also loves the shade, but like most ferns, it’s versatile enough to survive in a variety of climates and settings. It prefers partial or full shade, but it’s rather agreeable and can also tolerate full sun as long as the soil is kept plenty moist. Despite its delicate-looking appearance, lady fern is quite hardy. It’s not subject to any common pest or disease issues, which makes it even easier to care for this plant. It’s an attractive long-term option. It mostly takes care of itself and thrives easily. For those reasons, lady fern also works well as a ground cover, since it’s easy to plant many lady ferns alongside each other and they last throughout multiple seasons. The result is attractive, calming, and no-fuss. The lacy fronds are small enough to be easily navigable yet large enough to be noticeably beautiful. As ferns go, the lady fern is a lower, manageable option. Its fronds can grow to around 2-3’ tall, and the size can be easily managed to suit your own garden’s needs. This is the ideal plant for gardeners with a shady spot in their yard that they want to fill with a low-maintenance, pest-resistant, beautiful plant. It’s also appropriate for beginner gardeners, landscapers, or gardeners without a lot of time on their hands.

Glade Fern:

*The Glade Fern: A Thing of Beauty:


A Glade fern is also known as a Diplazium Pycnocarpon. A Glade fern is a very tall and slender leaved fern. The leaves on this particular kind of fern usually grow to about 90 centimeters long by about 14 centimeters wide. The fronds of the Glade fern typically have stalks which are often a light green color.


The Glade Fern seems to grow best in moist and shaded conditions. The Glade Fern should be kept from any direct sunlight. The Glade fern is commonly grown throughout Illinois. This type of fern grows best in low rocky areas.


This kind of fern is looked upon as quite elegant, possibly because of its large shiny leaves. This fern has very smooth margins and can always be identified from other ferns because of the size of the leaves.


The Glade Fern is commonly used in landscaping. This kind of fern would add a great deal of beauty to an outdoor landscaped lawn and garden. The Glade Fern is also found in Eastern North America as well as Southern Ontario.


*Where Glade Ferns can be Found:


The Glade Fern is usually found as colonies or isolated plants within the Eastern North America region. Also, these ferns are found in moist forest areas. These areas must be wet but also must be well-drained. The Glade Fern would not survive in areas where flooding occurs.


Glade Ferns maintain their vibrant green color, and they also provide exceptional foundation coverage. Ferns of this nature can many times be located at various plant nurseries.


Finally, the Glade Fern is quite attractive to the eye and will undoubtedly add great beauty to any garden. Adding a generous amount of mulch/ peat moss mixture around the fern will help it survive the colder weather.


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