Christmas Fern - Polystichum acrostichoides
The Christmas fern well deserves its name because the bright green foliage of the plant will last throughout the holiday season. The fronds grow in clusters and are usually 1 to 2 feet in length. They grow from a crownless root and are very quickly grown and maintained in the right conditions—the best-growing result plant this fern in a shady area to have moist and well-drained soil.
The fern works very well as an evergreen border. If you want to use it for ground cover, keep in mind that it is a clumping plant and does not form a continuous carpet as some ground cover ferns will, but the clumps will increase in size as time goes by. The Christmas fern is not a flowering plant and does well in most climates because it is frost tolerant. In the winter, the leaves usually lay on the ground rather than stand up, but they retain the glossy green color. The fern's range is Eastern North America, and it is native to Missouri, where it grows in dry and moist conditions on wooded slopes, ravines, and banks.
Landscape with The Christmas fern
It is an excellent plant to be used on slopes in your landscaping to help with soil erosion. When the fronds are young and coiled (these are called fiddleheads on most ferns), they will have a silvery color and will feel a little rough to the touch. These ferns are hardy plants and rarely have serious insect or disease issues. One known problem can be crown rot if the fern is planted in areas that are not well-drained, and if this occurs, it will usually be in the winter months. The Christmas fern also grows well indoors if planted in a hanging basket or fern stand with moist soil and near a window that only gets morning sun. Continuously mist once a week for humidity. Enjoy!
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