Japanese Beech Fern
Japanese Beech Fern foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spacing: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: syn. Phegopteris decursive-pinnata
A low to medium fern that forms slow-spreading clumps of upright, arching fronds forming tidy mounds; great for moist, shady borders; tolerates sun with adequate moisture; divide in spring
Japanese Beech Fern's attractive ferny pinnately compound leaves remain green in color throughout the season on a plant with an arching habit of growth.
Japanese Beech Fern is an herbaceous fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Japanese Beech Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Japanese Beech Fern will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Japanese Beech Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
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