Polystichum acrostichoides

Christmas Fern

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Item #: 295

Zones: 4a to 9b

Dormancy: Evergreen

Height: 15" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Shade

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

Regular price $23.00
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Polystichum acrostichoides is a wonderful, easy-to-grow, deer-resistant US native (Minnesota south to Florida) with sturdy, dark, evergreen fronds emanating from a central point, making a 2' wide clump...particularly effective when used in drifts. The fronds first emerge upright, then flatten with age. Christmas fern (known in PC circles as the Seasonal Holiday Fern) is one of the finest of all evergreen ferns and retains its attractive appearance all winter...simply superb for woodland gardens, especially those with deep shade areas!


Christmas fern is a maintenance free, evergreen perennial that requires little if any care in the garden. Since Polystichum acrostichoides holds onto its leaves for several years, the old ones will eventually degrade. In nature this needs no assistance, but in the garden, these may be removed to improve the plants appearance. Do not ever remove the current year foliage, since this will kill the plant.

Growing Conditions:

Polystichum acrostichoides prefers average to slightly dry soil with good drainage. It will not survive in soils that remain waterlogged. Acidic soils to pH's near neutral are fine.

Christmas fern is very shade tolerant, to all but the very darkest sites. It also has a bit of tolerance to sun, but this should be limited to 1-2 hours.

Garden Value:

Evergreen groundcovers which do not spread or require maintenance are invaluable in the woodland garden, and Christmas fern provides both. Ferns provide a wonderful textural contrast between bolder textured plants like hosta, asarum, and Solomon's seal.