Leatherwood Fern is commonly found in damp, heavily shaded areas
Leatherwood Fern (Dryopteris Marginalis) is a shade-loving native perennial found across the continental United States. It is commonly found in damp, heavily shaded areas, primarily within forests and woodlands. At maturity, the plant forms a single dense clump, standing two to three feet in height. The plant has distinct curled leaves that grow to 13-15 inches in length. They are of a vibrant gray-green and velvety to the touch.
In general, the plant prefers loamy, moist soils. However, it is adaptable and can thrive in various soil types as long as it remains sheltered within a fantastic garden area. The plant excels in regions like the Pacific Northwest, where annual rainfall is high. In the wintertime, the leaves retain their color. This hardy yet elegant fern adds interest to any winter landscape.
Leatherwood Fern is deer resistant
The best time to plant Leatherwood Fern bulbs is during early spring. Due to the dense nature of the plant, the bulbs should be spaced at least two feet apart and planted at a depth of two inches. Alternatively, Leatherwood Ferns can be transplanted. Location is crucial to the plant's survival, so you should take care to place bulbs or transplants in heavily shaded areas with little to no sunlight.
The Leatherwood Fern has numerous attributes that make it increasingly popular with the everyday gardener:
- It is resistant to deer, a plague to gardens across the United States.
- The plant does not spread once it is established, making it easy to maintain within an area of a flowerbed.
- The plant adds a touch of beauty to areas of the garden that might usually go underutilized.
The plant's shade-loving nature makes it well-suited for beds that lie along the north and south-facing sides of homes, which tend to receive minimal sunlight.