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Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ostrich Fern

Ostrich Fern

Format

Exposure

  • Partial shade
  • Shade

Rusticity

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

  • Edible friddlehead
  • Native
  • Humid environment
  • Shade loving plant
  • White-tailed deer resistant

Add a touch of natural grace and unique texture to your shade garden with Ostrich Feather Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), a majestic plant native to the forests of North America.

Description:

  • Graceful fronds: This fern is distinguished by its large arching fronds, which can reach up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length, unfurling in graceful arches. The fronds are divided into dark green pinnules, resembling ostrich plumes, hence its common name.
  • Evergreen foliage: Unlike most ferns, the Ostrich Fern retains its foliage throughout the winter, adding a touch of evergreen greenery to your garden even during the coldest months.
  • Majestic stature: This fern forms a dense, spreading clump, reaching 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) in height and 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm) in width. It creates a striking focal point in shaded garden areas.

Planting and Care:

  • Light: Plant Ostrich Fern in a shady or partially shady location, where it will receive at least 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day.
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained, rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost or organic matter to improve drainage and moisture retention.
  • Planting: Dig a hole slightly larger than the plant's root ball and set it in the prepared soil. Firmly tamp the soil around the base and water thoroughly.
  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during the first growing season and in hot weather. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Fertilization: Apply a balanced organic fertilizer in spring to promote healthy growth.
  • Winterizing: Ostrich Fern is hardy and does not require any special winter protection.

Additional Tips:

  • Ostrich Fern thrives in moist but well-drained soils. Avoid soggy soils that can lead to root rot.
  • Divide the plant every 3 to 5 years to rejuvenate it and propagate new plants.
  • Spent fronds can be cut off in late fall or early spring.

Companion plants: Hostas, ferns, coral bells, and bleeding hearts are all good companion plants for Ostrich Fern.

Uses: Ostrich Fern fronds can be used in fresh flower arrangements or dried for crafts

Plant details

Dimensions

Spacing
90 - 120 cm
Spread
90 - 120 cm
Height
120 - 180 cm
Spacing
36 - 48 in.
Spread
36 - 48 in.
Height
48 - 72 in.

Characteristics

Habit:

  • Bunch

Flowering colours:

Plant needs

Watering:

  • Moderate
  • high. Likes humid environments

Maintenance:

  • Easy. Plant it in the shade. Minimal maintenance.

Soil requirement:

  • Moist
  • Rich
  • Neutral

Features

Resistance:

  • White-tailed deer
  • Shade

Attract:

  • Shelter for birds

Use:

  • Flowerbeds
  • Shade garden
  • Well garden
  • River

Attribute:

  • Attractive

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