Plant Type
Sunlight Amount

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Sensitive Fern

A great colonizer, sensitive fern is deciduous with a wonderful soft texture on its fronds, which are light green and beautiful through the summer and early fall. The stiff, fertile fronds appear toward the end of summer and remain attractive all winter. This fern makes an excellent groundcover in damp, shaded places, but it may need to be corralled if you have limited space for it to spread.

genus name
  • Onoclea sensibilis
light
  • Part Sun
  • Shade
plant type
height
  • Under 6 inches
  • 6 to 12 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
width
  • To 4 feet wide or more
season features
problem solvers
special features
zones
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
propagation

Plant Sensitive fern with

Tall and elegant, these ferns look great during the spring and summer months thanks to their green fronds, but also in fall and winter when their upright reproductive fronds stand in the snow. They are excellent in damp soils and look especially at home beside ponds and streams. They may colonize large areas.

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.

The elegant, sweeping lines of this grass are so lovely that it's a favorite among gardeners. And Japanese forestgrass is one of only a few ornamental grasses that thrive in shade. Its mounding clumps of arching, grassy leaves gradually increase in size, never becoming invasive. Variegated cultivars are particularly attractive. All thrive in moisture-retaining, humus-rich soil and even tolerate dry conditions.

Boost your backyard gardens with these ideas

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