(syn D. cycadina). Mature fronds are attractive, very dark green and heavily textured. Fronds unfold resembling the shape of an elephant's trunk. The distinctive black stems provide an accent. Semi evergreen.
Ferns can be planted on mass, or they can also mixed. If you mix, play with taller arching ones, with smaller ones in the foreground. The various textures of fronds, and shades of green can also create an interesting tapestry. Additional shade loving plants can be planted as companion plants to enhance your shade garden. Consider, Asarum (wild ginger), Convallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley), Diecentra (bleeding hearts), Epimedium (barrenwort), Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff), Helleborus (Lenten rose), Heuchera (coral bells), Hosta (plantain lily), Polemonium caeruleum (Jacob’s ladder), Sanguinaria Canadensis (bloodroot). And… these are just perennials, come and visit us to find out about additional shade loving plants! Gardening in the shade has so many options!
Three main requirements for healthy ferns are shade, loose rich soil, and moisture. Therefore, the edge of a wooded area, high shade from tall trees, shade from buildings, or dappled shade is perfect. Basically ferns like bright light and some sun, just not the hot afternoon sun. Ferns like a rich, humusy soil with good drainage. The drainage is necessary because it provided oxygen around roots - essential to their growth. Avoid planting ferns among strong roots from trees, if you do, be prepared to water more, as the roots will rob the area of moisture. Regular watering is important until plants are established, usually 1-2 growing seasons. Judge based on your individual situation, however, try to water even with established plants in times of summer drought.