University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Northern Maidenhair Fern

maidenhair fern

Adiantum pedatum
Maidenhair ferns twirl sideways through the garden in exuberant whorls unlike any other fern. The black stems, called rachis, pop in contrast to the green fronds.  Even the little side leaflets, or pinna, are unusual, fringed on one side like a wing.  The bluish tint of maidenhair ferns adds a cool feel to the summer garden.  Though they look delicate, maidenhair ferns are not overly picky.  They like part or full shade, rich humusy soil, and moisture, yet can tolerate some drought.  They slowly spread by rhizomes, creating dense patches. To propagate, divide rhizomes and replant at or just below soil level.  Deer don’t touch them.
(March 2013)

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