A shady nook is always made more appealing by lush green vegetation that looks soft and inviting. Deer fern is a good plant to use in the shade with its two distinctive types of fronds one standing upright in the center, and the other spreading out around the center in a graceful swirl. The evergreen fern grows 1-3′ tall and adapts to a variety of conditions including deep shade and highly acidic soil. It can be used as a ground cover for a shade or woodland garden, or even as a houseplant. As a bonus, it provides winter food for game animals such as deer, moose and elk so is valuable in a wildlife garden

Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial

Height: 1-3

Bloom: None

Light: Partial shade to full shade

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained; tolerates very acid soil

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Karen