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Maidenhair fern


Use beautiful maidenhair ferns to add an airy, delicate texture to the shade garden. There's something almost magical about the plants, especially when paired with a coarser plant, such as hosta. Maidenhair ferns are lovely when grouped in a shady, moist, well-drained location, forming a fine-textured mass.


Part Sun, Shade



1 to 3 feet


12-30 inches wide

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how to grow Maidenhair fern

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more varieties for Maidenhair fern
American maidenhair fern

American maidenhair fern

Adiantum pedatum is native to North America and bears upright black or brown stalks with featherlike medium green fronds. It grows 12-16 inches tall. Zones 3-8

Northern maidenhair fern

Northern maidenhair fern

Adiantum pedatum aleuticum, at 30 inches tall, is larger than American maidenhair fern. It has black stems. New growth may be tinged pink. Zones 3-8

Southern maidenhair fern

Southern maidenhair fern

Adiantum capillus-venerus has fan-shape leaflets on black stems. It is hardy only in Zones 8-10 and remains evergreen down to about 28 degrees F.

plant Maidenhair fern with

In early spring, the brilliant blue, pink, or white flowers of lungwort bloom despite the coldest chill. The rough basal leaves, spotted or plain, always please and continue to be handsome through the season and into winter. Planted close as a weed-discouraging groundcover, or in borders as edgings or bright accent plants, lungworts are workhorses and retain their good looks. Provide high-humus soil that retains moisture. Although lungwort tolerates dry conditions, be alert for mildew.


This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.


It's hard to find bright color for shade, so it's a puzzle that brightly colored corydalis isn't more widely planted. It's is an outstanding shade plant. Blooms are small, but they appear in clusters. Leaves look similar to those of fringe-leaf bleeding heart. Plants self-seed readily, but excess seedlings are easy to remove. Provide the plant with moist, organic soil for best growth.Shown above: Yellow corydalis

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