Adiantum venustum

Himalayan maidenhair fern

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The delicate fronds and airy appearance of this little fern belie its character, because it is a trooper. Unlike most hardy maidenhair ferns, Himalayan maidenhair fern is also evergreen. But perhaps most enchanting is the way that its small fronds unfurl in late winter with a warm, bronze blush. These mature to fresh spring green, contributing a wonderland effect to the woodland garden. Himalayan maidenhair fern spreads very slowly, so it can be used to line paths or as a gentle groundcover in shady locations. It is an excellent foil for other woodland and shade garden plants.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading fern

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: spring to fall delicate foliage

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Arisaema ringens, Dryopteris wallichiana, Smilacina racemosa, Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’, Trillium chloropetalum

Great Color Contrasts: lavender, blue, white, yellow

Great Color Partners: green, black

Culture Notes
Himalayan maidenhair fern prefers light to dappled shade with its most robust growth in a location with morning sun and afternoon shade. A location with well-drained soil is best, but this fern will tolerate sandy and clay soils. During dry weather water at least regularly or about once per week. For faster or more lush growth water frequently or two to threes times per week. This maidenhair fern resents wet feet, so avoid water logged sites. The new growth starts in late winter, so the old leaves should be cut back at the end of January, even though they may still look nice. It resents being divided; if you do this, make your divisions as large as possible for a speedy recovery.
Geek Notes
Adiantum is from the Greek, adiantos, meaning unwettable, referring to the water-repellent fronds.