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Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern)

Maidenhair Fern, Serpentine Maidenhair, Aleutian Maidenhair, Five-Fingered Fern, Western Maidenhair

AGM Award
Adiantum aleuticum,Maidenhair Fern, Serpentine Maidenhair, Aleutian Maidenhair, Five-Fingered Fern, Western Maidenhair, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade, plants for wet soil

Incredibly attractive, Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen, perennial fern with graceful, bright green fronds that open like the fingers of a hand atop upright, shiny, purple-black wiry stems. Each finger is divided into a series of triangular segments (pinnules). Gradually becoming a lush clump of airy, horizontal fronds, moving silently with the least breeze, this plant is a great addition to the shade garden and is a natural choice for streamsides.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • Grows up to 18-30 in. tall and wide (45-75 cm).
  • A part to full shade lover, it is best grown in moist, well-drained soils. Avoid hot afternoon sun to prevent leaf burn in summer. Avoid water-logged sites.
  • Maidenhair Fern prefers medium light conditions but can tolerate low light. It thrives best in bright, indirect sunlight where it can receive gentle, diffused light without the risk of scorching its delicate fronds. While it can adapt to lower light levels, its growth might be slower, and the fronds may not be as vibrant compared to when it’s grown in more optimal lighting conditions. For the best results, aim to provide a balance of medium light while avoiding direct, harsh sunlight.
  • A great choice for shady beds and borders, cottage gardens, woodland gardens, or as an edger along paths.
  • Virtually disease free. Deer resistant.
  • Remove damaged fronds in spring. Propagate by spores
  • Native to North America

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Pteridaceae
Genus Adiantum
Common names Maidenhair Fern
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 30" (80cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, California, Michigan, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Adiantum jordanii (California Maidenhair)
Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern)
Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)
Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair)
Adiantum raddianum (Delta Maidenhair)

Recommended Companion Plants

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo)
Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Pteridaceae
Genus Adiantum
Common names Maidenhair Fern
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 30" (80cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, California, Michigan, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Edging
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Do I Need?
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