Large-leaf holly fern. (Richie Steffens)

Great Plant Pick: large-leaf holly fern

This shade loving fern has bold and bright matte-green leaves that give a fresh look throughout the spring and summer.

  • Friday, August 5, 2022 1:30am
  • Life

What: The bold evergreen leaves of this holly fern are the largest of all the holly ferns and make a great contrast in the garden. This shade loving fern has bold and bright matte-green leaves that give a fresh look throughout the spring and summer. The leathery foliage catches the eye especially when combined with fine textured ferns. The lighter green of this fern helps make dark shady areas seem a little brighter. Try combinations with other shade lovers, such as Pulmonaria, Epimedium or Brunnera.

Where: Holly ferns are easy to grow and thrive in all types of shade. They tolerate morning sun, but too much sun or short periods of hot afternoon sun can yellow and burn the foliage.

Size: Grows to 1 f00t, 6 inches tall by 2 feet wide in 10 years.

Care: Provide regular water during dry weather and plant in a rich moist or well-drained soil with plenty of compost. This evergreen fern will look weathered by late winter and should be cut to the ground in January or February to make way for the fresh foliage of spring.

— greatplantpicks.org

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