Replacement for Maidenhair fern

Asked May 23, 2020, 2:32 PM EDT

Hello. I had my landscaping redone two years ago and the landscape company recommended maidenhair ferns in part of the landscape plan. The area is under an ash but on the south side of the house so gets a fair amount of sun all day. The ferns have not done well. When the plants were still under warranty, the company replaced a number of them, but even with the replacements, a number of the ferns did not come up this year. I am looking for a replacement and am hoping you can give a recommendation. Thank you.

Ramsey County Minnesota

2 Responses

Sorry about your Maiden Hair Fern. Full sun is not the best for ferns, to say the least. I do have a Maiden Hair that gets a fair amount of sun and it does fine. The landscaper must have considered the area under the Ash as partial shade. It could have been a soil or nutrient issue and not necessarily the sun. The ferns are competing with the tree roots for nutrients.

There is a great Plant Selection site on extension: SULIS.
https://extension.umn.edu/lawns-and-landscapes/landscape-design
Click on the Plant Selection data base and follow the instructions to create our account (it is free). Then log into the data base and the search engine will come up.

I put in search parameters: hardy perennial, Max height of 15"., Design Use-Group, Natural Planting, Full Sun, and Zone 4. It came up with 13 possibilities. Three that I thought might work were Columbine,
Prairie Smoke, or Wood's Aster. The first two are spring bloomers and the Aster is a fall bloomer .I think the Columbine might give you the same effect as the fern.

Give the data base a try. It is lots of fun. A hint is to keep the search criteria general because it will give you more possibilities.

Thank you very much! I will give the data base a try.

Regards,
Nancy