Christmas fern

Polystichum acrostichoides

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: 
Steve Silk
Photo/Illustration: 
Steve Silk
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Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
pol-ISS-tih-kum ak-roe-stik-OY-deez
Genus:  Polystichum
The Christmas fern is a particularly accommodating garden plant. It is adapted to a wide range of conditions, from very dry to moist, and is hardy to Zone 3. The plant’s 1- to 2-foot fronds are dependably evergreen—hence the common name—but they lie flat on the ground through the winter. Few hardy ferns have more beautiful deep, glossy green foliage.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Evergreen; adaptable; glossy foliage.
Care:  Very adaptable, but likes full to part shade and fertile, humusy, well-drained soil.
Propagation:  Sow spores at 59° to 61°F when ripe. Divide rhizomes in spring. Detach fronds bearing bulbils in autumn.
Problems:  Infrequent. Crown rot may occur in poorly drained soils.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Part Shade to Full Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Native,
Showy Foliage
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Ground Covers,
Rock Garden,
Shade
Style
Woodland Garden
Tolerance
Frost Tolerant
Type
Fern

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Makinoi's holly fern
Polystichum makinoi
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Polystichum munitum
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Northern maidenhair fern
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Ghost fern
Athyrium 'Ghost'