Shonnard’s Nursery Plant Library

perennial

Netted Chain Fern

Woodwardia areolata

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Netted Chain Fern (Woodwardia areolata) at Shonnard's Nursery

Netted Chain Fern

Netted Chain Fern

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Description:

A deciuous native fern with shiny green fronds up to two feet high with a large spread; leaves emerge pinkish and mature to a foresty green; excellent for naturalizing, and woodland groundcover; also great along streams or ponds

Ornamental Features

Netted Chain Fern's attractive glossy ferny pinnately compound leaves emerge pink in spring, turning green in color throughout the season on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth.

Landscape Attributes

Netted Chain Fern is a dense herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Netted Chain Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Netted Chain Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 3 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Netted Chain Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features