Adiantum pedatum

Northern Maidenhair fern

Tips for Homeowners:

Adiantum pedatum grows best in moist shaded sites with humus rich soils.  This fern prospers in slightly acid to neutral soils and is intolerant of clay.

Plants require cool temperatures and high humidity and should be sheltered from wind.  Short term drought can induce temporary dormancy but plants will generally return the following spring.

This delicate looking beauty is easy to grow and low maintenance in shaded exposures with rich, loose, moist soil.

As plants mature into lush groundcover stands they provide valuable habitat for small wildlife but are generally not palatable to deer and other herbivores.

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  • Light green delicate leaves on shiny dark stems
  • Burgundy red fiddle-heads appear in early spring, reproduces by spores in June- August
  • Good ground cover for the woodland garden
  • Forms colonies by means of creeping rhizomes
  • Prefers moist , well drained soil, nutrient - rich soils, not drought tolerant
  • Natural habitat: mountains
  • Provides shelter for toads and lizards

Height: 8-20 in
Spread: 1-2 ft
Spacing: 18-24 in

Zone: 3-8
Color: Non-Flowering

Characteristics & Attributes


  • can be planted under Black Walnut Trees
  • RainGarden
  • Water's Edge / Bog Plant
  • Naturalizing
  • Mass Planting
  • Cut Flower/Foliage
  • Rock Garden
  • Great Foliage
  • Native

Critter Resistance:

  • Deer Resistant


  • Full Shade
  • Shade/ Part Shade
  • Light/ Bright shade

Foliage Color:

  • Green


  • Spreads slowly by rhizomes

Season of Interest (Foliage):

  • Summer
  • Spring

Soil Moisture:

  • Keep Well-Watered
  • Moist, Well-Drained

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