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Ostrich Fern

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Pre-Order for Spring of 2022 - Learn More

  • Full Shade to Full Sun (Can Grow In Most Sunlight Conditions)
  • Height 3 - 6 Feet
  • Width 3 - 4 Feet
  • Growing Zones 3-7

The King of Ferns, Ostrich Fern Matteuccia struthiopteris is the largest of the native ferns that have been grown in gardens predating Victorian times and are once again enjoying a popularity among gardeners. This tall stately fern is tolerant of sun or shade, making it a versatile addition to informal gardens across the country. It spreads naturally throughout your garden bed, and makes a spectacular display. Due to its eventual size, you will want to allot a larger area to this whopper!

Native to North America and thriving in particular in the Northern regions, Ostrich Ferns can be found in shaded woodlands across our nation. Hardy from Zones 3-7, it needs the cool winter temperatures to regenerate its growth for the next spring. It is deer and rabbit resistant and is typically not bothered by insects or plant diseases, making it a great choice for your full sun or shade garden. As a rule of thumb, if your region is particularly cold, plant it in full sun, and if you get quite warm during summer, consider planting it where it will receive some shade, if not full shade. It’s that versatile!

Ostrich Fern Care

Ostrich Fern is going to be the happiest in rich humus soil that remains on the cool side. If you are going to plant it in full sun, provide it a consistently moist well draining soil. Very few plants enjoy having their roots sit in pooling water. Mulching your plants year round is recommended to help maintain soil moisture, especially in full sun locations. Fertilizing is not needed as the well rotted organic material that is present in rich fertile soil is enough to feed your ferns. It takes about two years to fully establish your fern so keep the water consistent during that time. A well established plant can tolerate some soil moisture fluctuations. Plant your fern with the crown at or slightly below soil level for best results. Too deep and you will create a possibility of crown rot. Preferring a slightly acidic soil with a range of 5.5 to 6.5, Ostrich Fern will tolerate more acidic soils as well.

Deadheading is not an issue here, but prune out any dead or yellowing fronds down to the ground and discard debris immediately. Ostrich Fern grows by sending out rhizomes and starting new colonies from there. If you do not want it to spread as much, harvest the fiddleheads, the fist sized curled new growth that emerges when the plant is establishing a new clump, as they are a culinary delicacy when cooked. In fact, this species is the gourmet source for fiddleheads in fine restaurants.

Ostrich Fern Spacing

Space your Ostrich Fern 36 to 48 inches apart. Growing up to 7 feet tall and spreading out about 4 feet wide, you are going to need plenty of room to grow. These ferns spread out fan-like at the top and make an excellent cover for some small marginal perennials that benefit from the shade this spectacular fern affords. The tall fronds sway in the breeze, creating a tropical feel to your garden. Bring back an informal, old fashioned feel to your spring to fall garden this year.

Ostrich Fern Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Plant Type: Perennial
Sunlight Exposure: Full Shade to Full Sun
Mature Height: 3 - 6 Feet
Mature Width: 3 - 4 Feet
Plant Spacing: 3 - 4 Feet
Growth Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): None
Seasonal Interest: Grown for Foliage
Foliage Type: Herbaceous
Foliage Color(s): Dark Green
Resists: Deer, Rabbits
Tolerates: Drought
Features: Foliage Interest, Native to North America
Uses: Border Plant, Container, Landscape, Groundcover, Mass Planting
Plant Brand: Proven Winners
Botanical/Scientific Name: Matteuccia struthiopteris

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.

2 Reviews - Ostrich Fern Show Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Lauren Reid on Jan 10th 2022

    It has grown beautifully since I planted it. Can't wait for the plant this spring!

  • 5
    Perfect plant for the corner of my backyard

    Posted by Jayson Rigg on Dec 13th 2021

    I had a little corner of my garden that had a lot of bare ground. I then saw this Ostrich Fern plant and knew it would be perfect to plant for this shaded area. I would definitely buy it again.