Grow these lush forest plants as ground covers, trees, accent plants, or in containers.
- Wood fern (Dryopteris). Plant these delicate, medium-sized ferns in mixed borders to show off their feathery fronds.
- Australian tree fern (Cyathea). Its broad, bright green fronds grow from the trunk crown to form a ferny canopy in the forest understory.
- Chain fern. Grow these medium-to-large woodland ferns in moist garden beds amended with plenty of organic material.
- Hawaiian tree fern. Trees will grow up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
- Japanese painted fern. Plant in woodland gardens and pair them with plum-colored heuchera and hellebores.
- Licorice fern. Plant these low-growing ferns as ground covers in beds with moist soils that drain well—slopes and rock gardens work particularly well.
- Maidenhair fern. The tiny bright green leaflets of maidenhair ferns spread like fans, forming cascades of foliage on damp slopes and creek beds.
- Squirrel’s foot fern. Grow in hanging baskets in bright indirect light or use as a groundcover in mild winter areas—plants are hardy to 30° F.
- Mother fern. The feathery soft fronds of mother fern have a graceful form that is appreciated when the ferns are grown in containers or spilling over rocks in shady garden beds.
- Staghorn fern. Recreate their natural environment by mounting the ferns on wooden shingles, in hanging baskets, or directly onto garden tree trunks for showy accents.
- Tasmanian tree fern. They are slow growing, reach 15 feet at maturity, and their arching bright green fronds are finely divided.
- Western sword fern. Plants reach 2 to 4 feet tall and wide, and form finely divided deep green fronds held upright like feathery swords.