What is Shield Fern Plant? – How to Grow Southern Shield Ferns in Gardens?

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Hey folks! We are back with another plant’s knowledge. Have you ever heard about shield fern plants? Do you know how to grow them? How to take care of them? Are you a shade lover? If yes, then it’s great that you are here. Shade lovers aren’t bothered by any deer browsing, they try to grow southern shield ferns. But do you know exactly about it? From South Carolina through Florida, west into west Texas, and south to the Caribbean Islands, this fern species is native. Once the plant has established itself in these areas, Southern Shield Fern care is modest. 

Do you know One of the most beautiful ferns in the woods is the Southern Shield Fern? Its deciduous, soft-looking fronds make it one of the most beautiful of our native ferns, and its adaptability to the southern garden makes it one of the most popular. Let us learn more about this fern plant in detail. 

What is a Shield Fern?

Growing southern shield fern plant prefers shade to partial shade with dripping limestone, ravines, low woods, riverbanks, and marshes. The shield fern (Thelypteris kunthii) has several common names, including river fern, southern maiden fern, wood fern, and common maiden fern. In east-west Texas it is called the river fern because it only grows near or near water, while in east-central Texas the fern is only found in moist wooded environments, Hence the name wood fern.

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Ferns are great plants for shady gardens, and the southern shield fern is no exception. This Florida native goes by several other names, including Southern Wood Fern and Queens’ Maiden Fern. Large, triangular leaves emerge in spring and grow to three to four feet tall. Bright green foliage complements other shade lovers like cast-iron plants throughout the summer. Then in autumn, the leaves turn into rich bronze. Because it will form clumps and spread over time, southern shield fern is a good ground cover, although it may need some tameness to keep it contained.

This versatile fern likes moist soil but is also well drought tolerant. It’s even resistant to deer, making it ideal for gardeners who have trouble finding plants that deer won’t eat. Southern Shield Fern is also known as Dryopteris normalis, Dryopteris saxatilis, Thelypteris macrorhizoma, Thelypteris normalis, Thelypteris unca, Southern Shield Fern, Southern Wood Fern, Southern Maiden Fern, River Fern, and Widespread Maiden Fern. You don’t have to live near the coast to successfully grow southern shield fern.

Shield Fern Plant tolerates short periods of drought and does well in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10. Choose a partially shaded planting site with moist soil, rich in organic matter, good drainage, and a pH between 6.1 and 7.8. Take soil samples to a nearby Cooperative Extension Service for analysis.

Growing Southern Shield Fern Plant 

Like other ferns, the shield fern is characterized by its long, pale green leaves. These pinnate leaves have hairs on the top and bottom. This fern is an excellent low-maintenance groundcover fern for shady areas of the landscape. It can reproduce by root division and, as mentioned, is deer resistant. 

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For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, How to grow Angel vine in a pot? – Care, Growth, and facts

The plant spreads by rhizomes to form colonies and quickly fill an area. Caring for Southern Shield Fern When planting Southern Shield Ferns, choose a shady to a partially shaded area with average to rich, moist, well-drained areas, although Shield ferns can tolerate poor drainage. Fern care is minimal. Water during droughts and prune dead leaves before spring to encourage new growth. 

Wrapping up the context 

In this article, you come to know about shield fern plants. Ferns are great plants for shady gardens, and the southern shield fern is no exception. This Florida native goes by several other names, including Southern Wood Fern and Queens’ Maiden Fern. Large, triangular leaves emerge in spring and grow to three to four feet tall. Bright green foliage complements other shade lovers like cast-iron plants throughout the summer. Then in autumn, the leaves turn into rich bronze. Because it will form clumps and spread over time, southern shield fern is a good ground cover, although it may need some tameness to keep it contained. I hope this article will be helpful for you all. 

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