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- Netted Chain Fern-Woodwardia areolata Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade – Partial to Full Shade Mature Height - 1-2' Mature Width- 1-2' Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner
Netted Chain Fern - Woodwardia areolata
Netted Chain Fern (Woodwardia areolata) is a beautiful deciduous ground cover plant. It is a waxy green color and grows to be 1-2 feet in height, and 4-8 inches wide. This plant will give you a neat and compact look with little maintenance. It has two different kinds of leaves, fertile and sterile. The fertile leaves are a little shorter, and stand erect. The sterile leaves are deeply lobed and up to 2 feet long. The veins create their namesake netted pattern. Use this plant for your wet and shady areas for an extra pop of color. The Netted Chain Fern colonizes with a small rhizome and will provide excellent ground cover in the shadier areas of your garden.
It is suited best to a wet climate. Keep this plant in moist and wet soil, and in the partial or full shade. The soil should be acidic, sandy loam is suitable. This fern even tolerates brackish soils. The Netted Chain Fern is a great choice to edge your ponds and wet areas and provides shelter for some natural wildlife such as newts and frogs. It reproduces by rhizome division, so you can use it to start covering a wet area of your garden that needs more color. Not only will it offer a nice habitat for your pond dwelling critters, but it adds texture to the shadier, barer parts of your garden design. The Netted Chain Fern is commonly known for it's organized growth and colonizing. You can enjoy this plant with very little maintenance if you have a wetland or pond for it to thrive in.
You can buy this lovely plant for an outdoor garden or keep them potted indoors because they love the shade. If you choose to keep them indoors, be sure you keep their soil moist. You can be sure you will enjoy the color and coverage this Netted Chain Fern will give you.
The netted chain fern is a native growing perennial that can be found in any low-lying wetland area. Its native habitat is swampy, shaded forest floors and the fern makes a perfect addition to home water gardens and xeriscapes that encompasses a low-lying area that stays consistently wet. The plant name comes from the veins on the fronds that create a chain-like pattern. The fronds also have marginal teeth. The plant can also be successfully grown as a potted houseplant when planted in a large container, kept away from direct sunlight and watered frequently.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Woodwardia areolata
USDA Climate Zone: Hardy in zones 3-9
Plant Height: 18-24 inches
Plant Spread: Three feet
Soil Type: Moist soil and wetlands, grows well in brackish water
Sun: Full to partial shade
Netted chain ferns are perennials that spread via underground rhizomes and spores found under the fronds. Non-flowering, easy-care plants are best used to naturalize a wetland area. The plants spread quickly under the right growing conditions and help to prevent erosion along coastal edges and swamp margins. With no natural pest or disease problems, their fast growing habits can make them an invasive plant if left unchecked. To keep the netted chain fern under control, dig up the ferns and rhizomes as needed. Pots of netted chain ferns can be partially sunk around the edge of ponds to add beauty while keeping the plant under control.