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Hay Scented Fern

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Hay-scented Fern-Dennstaedtia punctilobula Hardy Planting Zones- 3-8 Sun or Shade – Partial to Full Shade Mature Height - 1-2' Mature Width- 2-3' - Gardener Status- Novice

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Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.

Hay Scented Fern - Dennstaedtia Punctilobula


Image result for hay scented ferns Image result for hay scented ferns


Hay-scented fern gets its name from the fact that when crushed, it releases a hay scent. It’s a deciduous woodland fern that reaches up to two feet in height and four feet in width. During the spring and summer, it is a lush green color. However, it changes to yellow in the fall. It grows from an underground seed called a rhizome. It makes an excellent ground coverage, however, since it’s quite rigid, you don’t want to plant it with more vulnerable plants. If you have deer issues, they make for a natural deer repellent. In landscaping, the hay-scented fern makes an excellent border edge and Naturalizer. They are also great for cottage gardens and other woodland and wild areas.


Hay-scented ferns make a natural, lush green carpet in forested areas. It is also often found in meadows, rocky slopes, and open fields. They are best planted in soil that is well-drained. However, if your land is weak, it thrives just as well on compost. They do best in partially shaded areas with slightly acidic soil. They do grow as well in fully sunlit regions but don’t retain as lushly an appearance. It has a rapid growth and spread. They do thrive in hot summer climates, but the fronds usually start declining toward early fall.


Hay-scented ferns are perhaps one of the lowest maintenance plants on the market. Once they take root and start their growth, it doesn’t take much to maintain them at all. However, if you need to control its spread, you can very quickly pull some out in the spring. Their average lifespan is about a decade. If your ferns do start to look weak, they can be easily fixed by fish emulsion fertilizer. They are not known to have any severe issues with disease or pests.


Hay Scented Fern is the common name of an eastern North American native perennial fern. A deciduous plant, Hay Scented Fern gets its name from its fronds, which emits an earthy aroma similar to hay. It tolerates a broad range of soil conditions and, once established, can thrive in even a dry environment. It is an ideal plant to help with erosion control or to brighten up a rock garden and is not prone to disease.