Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern) grown in 1-gallon pots.
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern) grown in a quart size pot.
A close-up of Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern) foliage.

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

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Polystichum acrostichoides, commonly called Christmas Fern, is a native perennial fern found in shaded areas like woodlands and wooded slopes, stream banks, and low valleys. Unlike some ferns, Christmas fern is not at all picky about its moisture level, growing equally well in moist and drier areas, but preferring well-drained, nutrient-rich soils. This ornamental fern grows to only one to two feet tall, making it an ideal low-growing plant for a variety of landscapes.

Since it does best in shade, including dry shade, Christmas fern can be used in containers, naturalized woodland plantings, along shaded foundations, and even as an erosion control planting on steep slopes. Christmas fern is deer resistant, resistant to poor, dry, rocky, or overly wet soils, and its evergreen foliage ensures year-round interest to your landscape, even straight through Christmas. As an added bonus, Polystichum acrostichoides is also a valuable nesting location for ground-nesting birds.

Native to U.S., Native to Maryland, Native to Eastern Shore, and Straight Species
Evergreen
Mature Plant Height:Short: 12-29"
Full Shade (less than 4 hours of sun) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Wide Tolerance and Well-drained
Soil Type: Rich Organic Matter, Wide Tolerance, and Poor
Foliage Color: Green
Features: Groundcover, Fall Color, Winter Interest, Erosion Control, and Attracts Birds
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Black Walnut Tolerant, Rabbit Tolerant, and Drought Tolerant
Garden Type: Woodland Garden, Container, Foundation Planting, Rock Garden, and Small Space

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