Osmunda regalis
Osmunda regalis photo Missouri Botanical Garden

Royal Fern

Native all over the Northern Hemisphere, Royal Fern is one of the largest and most spectacular species for the garden. It forms an upright clump with tall, arching fronds of bright green divided leaves. Brownish spore-bearing pinnae are clustered at the end of each leafy frond in a short spike. Loves moist to wet soil, tolerating full sun in cool summer regions. Old leaves should be pruned to the ground in late winter.

  • Size: 1 gallon
  • Height: 60-90 cm (24-35 in)
  • Spread: 60-90 cm (24-35 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3-9
  • Sun or Shade: part shade to shade
  • Leaf Colour: green
  • Critter Resistance: deer

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Royal Ferns are part to full shade lovers. They grow best in fertile, humus-rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils. Do not allow the soil to dry out. They can grow in full sun if given constant moisture. Prune off old fronds to the ground before new growth starts in the spring.