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Sensitive Fern-Onoclea Sensibilis Hardy Planting Zones-4-9 Sun or Shade-Part Sun/Full Shade Mature Height-36" Mature Width-48" Bloom Season-Summer (May to August) Gardener Status-Beginner

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

Onoclea Sensibilis - Sensitive Fern

The sensitive fern is an ornamental beauty beginning from the time it makes a first appearance in the form of new, pale red fiddleheads in early spring. Filling a comfortable position in the role of hardy perennial plants, it returns every spring. Ultimately, it is one of the first season's colorful displays of new growth after the dormancy of winter.

Because it has a natural habit of carrying spores enclosed in bead-like coverings on separate stalks, it earns an additional title of the bead fern.

The established greenery is low maintenance, which gives nature the luxury to take over in assisting this fern with the pleasure of developing colonies. The free-running and rambling habit are similar to the lady fern. Shallow rhizomes trail outward and allow new fronds to grow at intervals until the initial planting becomes a naturalized area. The flexible nature makes it an excellent candidate for meadow plantings, native gardens, and even roadsides and slopes where the roots help to lock in the soil.

Prized as groundcovers in wooded landscapes, it covers as much territory as you desire. Shaded environments are the natural requirements for the sensitive fern. Seasonal trimming and shaping give you the advantage of expressing your style. You are the designer of your royal domain.

Add some of these lush foliage plants in patio containers as conversation starters. How relaxing is natural foliage in entertainment and recreation situations?

Sensitive ferns have the potential to grow up to four feet tall in zones 4 - 8. Use compost-enriched, loose soil and maintain hydration, which assists the plant to display new shows of greenery.

Plant some wildflowers in your naturalized fern landscapes to invite native birds and butterflies. Additionally, get out your camera for some wildlife photography in your meadow garden. Because sensitive ferns are not on the menu for deer and rabbits, you can relax when they visit and take a healing, mindfulness pause in life. Who knew a fern garden could be healing, meditative experience?


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Sensitive Fern is a perennial that is somewhat coarse in texture and average to large. Its name is due to its delicate fronds, which wither and die when exposed to frost. Wet swamps and wooded areas including bogs and wet meadows are the favored homes of the Sensitive Fern. Plant these beauties in moist soil near your pond to add a touch of charm!