Netted chain fern is partial shade to full shade plant that loves wet acid soil areas.  These ferns do not flower and die back in the late fall.

Netted Chain Fern

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Netted Chain Fern-Woodwardia areolata Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade – Partial to Full Shade Mature Height - 1-2' Mature Width- 1-2' Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner

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No other plant decorates the forest like a fern. These ferns grow to between 1-2 feet tall, spreading a fan-like cover of net-veined fronds that are 4-8 inches in width. The Netted Chain Fern is a deciduous waxy green plant that forms in colonies with its shallow and slender brown rhizomes. It is a native plant that calls home in the southern and eastern coast from Florida up to Nova Scotia. This is partial shade to full shade plant that loves wet acid soil areas. It will tolerate loamy, sandy, and clay soils as well as brackish wetlands. The rhizomes can be divided, or it propagates by spores. This lovely perennial provides cover for several water and land animals such as frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. These ferns do not flower and die back in the late fall. It has been found around acid mine seeps and tends to thrive in these areas. They make a beautiful setting in shaded areas around ponds, bogs, and other pools of water.


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If you have a water feature in your yard that is partial to fully shaded, this plant is naturally well contained and would make a lovely soft addition to the landscape. These ferns have fertile and sterile needle-like fronds with the fertile fronds being narrow and more prolonged than their pure counterparts. Though propagation occurs most often by the spreading of the rhizomes, the spores play a role. This plant is very similar to the Sensitive Fern in appearance and is often confused when being identified by looking at the leaf shape in nature. The Netted Chain Fern is a perennial, deciduous type of fern that grows to approximately one to two feet in height when fully mature. The plant thrives in moist, acidic soil types and can quickly reach maturity. With waxy, toothed leaves, the plant provides a perfect ground cover for wet, shady places. The plant blooms during the summer months, although it produces no flowers. The fern is particularly beneficial for use in ornamental gardens, bogs, and ponds.

Netted Chain Fern
Hardy Planting Zones - 3 - 9
Height At Maturity - 1 - 2 Feet
Soil Requirements - Moist, acidic

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