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Wood Ferns

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Wood Fern (Buckler Fern)-Thelypteris kunthii Hardy Planting Zones- 3-8 Sun or Shade – Partial-Full Shade Mature Height - 2-5' Mature Width- 8-12" Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner

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

Wood Fern - Dryopteris Expansa

A wood fern can be the perfect addition to add a magical ambiance to your shady area. Wood ferns offer a decorative element and splashes of color as they mature. Many wood ferns begin as a coppery or reddish pink before they mature into bright green. Some even have a lovely bluish-green hue to them. Fall can bring red and purple tones to the wood ferns fronds. Depending on your desires, there are wood ferns that are evergreen and others that are deciduous, coming back every spring after dying down for the winter. Wood ferns are also known as buckler ferns or Japanese shield ferns.

One benefit to using wood ferns in your landscaping is that they are low maintenance. They are very hardy and adaptable to their environment. Once they have been planted and established, one must only ensure they are watered. Wood ferns also do not mind wet conditions and can be found growing beside ponds and streams. Putting down a layer of mulch can help keep the plants moist. Also, mulch can help prevent the roots from being damaged when it freezes in wintertime; While it is not necessary to use fertilizer after the new growth appears in spring a light dusting of slow release fertilizer can help the wood fern thrive.

Another benefit to wood ferns is that they are both deer and rabbit resistant, so you know the natural wildlife will not interfere with this portion of your landscaping. They have virtually no issues with insects or disease. Before planting your wood ferns, adding compost, rotted manure, or leaf mold to the soil can give them a great start. They thrive in soil that is rich in free, organic matter. Wood ferns are slow growing, but the wood fern grows approximately two feet tall by two feet wide. Wood ferns easily grow in zones 5-8 but can grow in zones 3 and 4 with proper management.


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Wood fern is an excellent fern for almost anywhere. This Plant is well known for its soft look and feel and is lovely around walkways or porches. The wood fern is evergreen and can add a beautiful green in the mid of winter. However, this needs a lot of watering and likes to have moist soil. It is very good at spreading over an open area.