How to Pick a Tree to Plant

Use our tips to select the best tree at your local garden center or nursery.

View Video

4-Step Outdoor Fall Window Box

Plant a beautiful outdoor fall display in four easy steps. Our editor shows you how to combine fall flowers and seasonal gourds to create a stunning window box (Hint: It looks great from inside the house, too!).

View Video

Fall Tree Care

Get tips for preparing your trees for winter.

View Video

Fall Garden Checklist

Get your yard ready for winter with these easy tasks.

View Video

How to Plant Spring Bulbs

Plant spring-blooming bulbs in fall. Here┬┐s how!

View Video

How to Deal with Fall Leaves

Make getting rid of fall leaves easy with these tips.

View Video

Mums in the Fall Garden

Browse stunning types of mums, and see creative ways to incorporate mums into your fall landscape.

View Slideshow
Popular in Gardening

plant quick find clear


flower color

foliage color

plant type


seasonal features

special features

problem solvers

wood fern


Turn that shady spot into a restful, green landscape by planting wood ferns. Although some ferns can be picky, wood ferns are tough, adaptable, medium-size woodland ferns with bold texture. Some species are evergreen and others are deciduous. Other common names include shield fern and buckler fern. Like most ferns, it needs rich, moist, humus-rich soil with plenty of water.


Part Sun, Shade



From 1 to 20 feet


1-10 feet wide

Seasonal Features:



how to grow wood fern

more varieties for wood fern

Crested buckler fern
Crested buckler fern
Dryopteris dilitata 'Cristata' has delicate-looking fronds with a crest at the tip, giving the fern a lush appearance. It grows 2-3 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-8
Male wood fern
Male wood fern
Dryopteris filix-mas is a North American native that forms a 3-by-3-foot clump of fronds. It is hardy in Zones 3-8 and remains evergreen in warm climates.

plant wood fern with

Lady's mantle
Lady's mantle looks great in the garden and in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or drewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels. The chartreuse flowers appear in playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. Lady's mantle is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.
Japanese painted fern
One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to each other, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids.Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. And they will tolerate some sun if they have ample water.
Sweet potato vine
Among the most popular container-garden plants, sweet potato vine is a vigorous grower that you can count on to make a big impact. Its colorful foliage, in shades of chartreuse or purple, accents just about any other plant. Grow a few together in a large pot, and they make a big impact all on their own.Sweet potato vines do best during the warm days of summer and prefer moist, well-drained soil. They thrive in sun or shade.

Loading... Please wait...