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Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Polystichum acrostichoides Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Polystichum acrostichoides pol-ISS-tih-kum ak-roe-stik-OY-deez Common Name: Christmas fern 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.
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
Tolerance Frost Tolerant
Characteristics Native; Showy Foliage
Foliage Color Evergreen
Uses Beds and Borders, Shade, Ground Covers, Rock Garden
Style Woodland Garden
Type Fern

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