Ferns Ferns Ferns

Ferns Ferns Ferns

Hardy Deer-Resistant Plants for the Woodland Shade Garden

By Published February 07, 2015 Updated November 23, 2022

Who plants ferns? For the gardener looking to expand their woodland garden, ferns for shade are great additions. Most fern plants require light shade and evenly moist soils, although there are some that can also take full sun. Some popular types include the maidenhair fern, Japanese painted fern, and autumn fern. With a variety of leaf sizes, textures, and colors, the gardener can select a unique fern plant for their landscape. The maidenhair fern, or Adiantum, is often found as a house fern plant, but there are several that are winter hardy for outdoors. The maidenhair fern is considered easy to grow, and can thrive in deep shade or with morning sun.

The Asian species of Athyrium, also known as Japanese painted fern, are deciduous fern plants that are deer-resistant. The Japanese painted fern does well in well drained, moist soils. As the name implies, Japanese painted fern has diverse foliage coloring.

Dryopteris, or autumn fern, are fern plants that also display a variety of colors, especially with their new growth. These ferns for shade range in size from the smaller 18" tall plants to 50" tall. An autumn fern generally likes compost rich soil in the woodland garden setting.

Whether considering autumn ferns, Japanese painted ferns, adiantum ferns, cinnamon ferns, or something different, there are plenty of options to choose from. Among other woodland plants, ferns can always provide beauty and interest.
Image of Dryopteris decipiens
Dryopteris decipiens

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

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