ferns for deep shade

Asked March 28, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

Landscaping for a condo building: either side of the front door, beds with deep shade, pachysandra does well. Need recommendations for something fairly small and low maintenance for the corners, ground level where the building wall meets the projection for the front door. What about an evergreen fern?

District of Columbia

1 Response

There are several ferns, hardy in our area, that are considered to be evergreen, however, there are some drawbacks. Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) tends to lie over in winter and may lose its aesthetic appeal. Deer fern (Blechnum specant) and holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) may perform adequately, but availability may be an issue. You may not be able to find them easily. Other options include helebores, black mondo grass, variegated liriope, or a combination of these. You could also consider grouping some of the above groundcovers around one or three Gumpo azaleas.
Since availability could be your greatest challenge, it may be useful to scout out your sources and call us if you have questions about specific species. 1-800-342-2507 or go to our website and send an email question www.hgic.umd.edu.