A low-growing groundcover. Sterile fronds are light to brown-mottled green, deeply cut and wither early, Fertile fronds appear in late summer and, though dead, remain upright through winter. Needs consistent moisture; grows taller in wetter conditions. Called sensitive fern because of sensitivity to early frosts and droughts.
Height: 3-4 ft.
Spread: 3-4 ft.
Spreads by: rhizomes and spores
Sun: part shade to full shade
Water: medium to wet
Deer and rabbit resistant
Ferns prefer well-drained soil high in organic matter. Most ferns require a moist, shady spot to grow. Many need plenty of moisture during the growing season and should be given an inch or more of water per week if not supplied by rains. Mulch with leaves or aged hardwood bark in the spring and fall. Fern foliage provides food for many butterflies and moths during their caterpillar stage.
photo credit: peganum