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- Scientific name: Cystopteris Montana USDA Hardiness Zone: Anywhere from five degrees to minus forty degrees Fahrenheit Height: anywhere from twelve to thirty-six inches Spread: nine to twelve inches Bloom: None
Bladder Ferns - Cystopteris bulbifera
Bladder ferns whose name is derived from the tiny, bladder-like growths (bulbets) found on the underside of the leaves, is a deciduous fern that can be found in temperate areas across the globe. The graceful and rock-loving fern is native to the United States and is also referred to as fragile fern. These ferns grow best in the shade in slightly basic (pH 6.8-7.2), moist and organic-rich soils. The plant is easy to care for and has the advantage of easily growing in the shade, thus allowing you to fill those areas in your garden that are usually more difficult for other plants to grow in, giving you a lush green cover from spring to fall. The fern usually grows close to rocks, adding a wilderness feel to any landscaping. The best planting conditions can be prepared by burying limestone fragments in the soil. There is no need for fertilizer. However, compost use around the base helps provide food for the roots during fall and winter months. The fern is fast growing, with long, slender light green tapered fronds, which can grow to 48 inches. This fern reproduces in a semi-vegetative manner; however, they also develop spores that cause the formation of the bulbets. The fern leaves begin to die back during the fall, at the arrival of cold weather. However, the dead foliage of the plant can be left on to protect the core of the fern. Towards the end of winter/ beginning of spring, you can cut off the dead leaves to allow new leaflets to grow. When properly managed and planted in the right conditions, bladder ferns are great additions to gardens and landscapes.
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Climate Zone: 5
Mature Height: 8 inches
Mature Width: 8 inches
Sunlight: Prefers shady conditions
Soil Conditions: Prefers slightly basic, humus-rich, moist soil
Botanical Name: Cystopteris bulbifera