Adiantum pedatum, Maidenhair Fern

Mature Maidenhair Ferns, Whitewater State Park

Maidenhair Fern are thought to be fussy, but their truth is how tough they really are! You will find these lacy, delicate-looking woodland ferns on steep slopes, facing north, and dry under the forest canopy. They will tolerate light frost, staying green much longer than some of their companion ferns. It is important that they get the shade they want and their soil is neither soaking or bone dry. No other fern is like them and they will shine where you once grew hostas. If you have either heavy, compacted clay or pure sand (this happens!), add compost before planting.

Plant alongside Wild Ginger, Woodland Geranium, Lady Fern, Columbine, Bloodroot, Zig Zag Goldenrod, and more.

Blooms: n/a

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Conditions: shade or dappled shade, moist and well-draining to medium soils

A patch at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum