- 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
Netted Chain Fern
Netted Chain Fern-Woodwardia Areolata is a fern that multiplies in soils that are moist and organically rich. It will grow in full shade to part shade and will do well in the average garden soil but prefers acidic soil.
The colony-forming fern has waxy green leaves and bronze colored fiddleheads. Each fern plant stands about 2 feet tall, and each fern frond is approximately 4 to 8 inches long. Fertile fronds, which are broad-leaf, look very different from sterile fronds, which are very thin. The plant is compact and maintains a neat look and is well-behaved in the garden, spreading via slender rhizomes.
No other plant decorates the forest like a Netted Chain Fern.
Netted Chain Fern gives a magical accent to wet places as a frilly ground cover beginning in spring with their bronze colored fiddleheads. 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 all the way up to Nova Scotia.
This is a 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. 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. They can be found commercially if you want to include them in your yard design.
Netted Chain Fern is a leafy, durable plant, native to southeastern North America, which quickly spreads in ideal growing conditions.
The lush green color of the deciduous Netted chain fern is a perfect choice for gardens. Netted Chain Fern is a leafy, durable plant, native to southeastern North America, which easily spreads in ideal growing conditions. Netted chain ferns like the shade but can do well in the sun as long as the soil remains consistently moist. As darkness is their optimum growing condition, you’ll find that they spread out in dense shade. In the sun, they tend to cluster. Netted chain ferns grow between one to two feet high with fronds spreading out from four to eight inches wide. Some ferns will extend to three feet tall.
As long as the soil does not dry out between watering, this perennial fern is a low-maintenance plant that does not suffer any dangerous insect or disease problems.
The plant has both sterile and fertile fronds. The sterile frond has raised veins which form a net-like pattern. The fertile fronds, which appear in summer, have the same characteristics but are not as wide. In fact, the name “chain fern” refers to this net-like pattern. Additional features include a somewhat rough underside and a leaf stalk that has a red-brown lower section. The plant forms new plants from its rhizome or the spores that grow on the bottom of its leaves. The colony spreads slowly and is easy to control. Grow them as a ground cover in wet, shady areas or plant them under large trees. If you’re looking to add plants next to a pond or stream, these netted chain ferns are a good choice. They’re also excellent plants if you need to add a touch of vibrant, green color to your property. Landscapers can consider mixing netted chain ferns with other ferns. In its natural habitat, you’ll find them near streams, rivers, or in forests with acidic soils.
These ferns have fertile and sterile needle-like fronds with the fertile fronds being narrow and more prolonged than their sterile 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 Ships as Bare Root