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The Plant Guide

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Christmas fern

Polystichum acrostichoides

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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 CharacteristicsEvergreen; adaptable; glossy foliage.

CareVery adaptable, but likes full to part shade and fertile, humusy, well-drained soil.

PropagationSow spores at 59° to 61°F when ripe. Divide rhizomes in spring. Detach fronds bearing bulbils in autumn.

ProblemsInfrequent. Crown rot may occur in poorly drained soils.

  • Genus : Polystichum
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Tolerance : Frost Tolerant
  • Uses : Ground Covers, Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage

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