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  • The curled spears of the Hart's-tongue fern can be cut to the ground in February or March.

    Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

    The curled spears of the Hart's-tongue fern can be cut to the ground in February or March.

WHAT: Hart's-tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium, does not look like any other fern you grow. The new fronds unroll into long narrow tonguelike blades.
Cut the fronds to the ground in late February or early March. This slow grower needs a year to settle in before growing well, but will sprout new sporlings every year, if it likes the location.
WHY PLANT IT: The wide bright green fronds are distinctive and provide striking contrast with fine-textured ferns and other woodland perennials.
WHERE: Place Hart's-tongue fern in a light to deep shade location and water regularly during dry periods. It tolerates some morning sun, but hot or afternoon sun will cause it to yellow or burn.
SIZE: The fern will grow to 1-foot, 9 inches high and wide.
Story tags » Gardening

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