Polystichum neolobatum

Asian saber fern

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Asian saber fern is relatively new to the Pacific Northwest but has quickly proven to be a strong performer for us. Its fronds are glossy green and leathery, held stiffly upright to create an open, vase-shaped plant that is distinctive in the garden. Its fronds are so stiff that they do not collapse in our occasional snows, but remain fully upright and evergreen through the winter. Place Asian saber fern with soft-textured ferns and plants with paler green foliage for best contrast. Its unusual growth habit makes it eye-catching as a single specimen or interesting when planed en masse.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: fern

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 6 in. (0.76 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: light to deep shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering or regular watering if in sandy soil

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, gold, blue

Great Color Partners: variegated, chartreuse

Culture Notes
This fern grows best in rich moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand or clay. Once established it will tolerate occasional watering during dry weather, but regular watering may be necessary for plants in sandy soils. This fern grows well in light to deep shade. Too much sun will cause the fronds to yellow. Though it is evergreen the fronds should be cut down in late February or March, before the new fronds emerge.