- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
- Mature Height: 1-3' tall
- Mature Width: 2-4' wide
- Exposure: Full Sun
- Spacing: 2-4' apart
- May Benefit & Attract: wrens, sparrows, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.
- This bird-friendly native trees provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- All Audubon® branded trees are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
- Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
- Ships in a plant-safe designed box
Why the Audubon® Hay Scented Fern?
Hay Scented Fern is a delicate-looking native Fern with fine, frilly, apple-green foliage. It’s so cute when the croziers (coiled fronds) emerge in spring and unfurl! But don’t be fooled by appearances—this is one tough plant, and it can grow rather aggressively in the cool climates that it favors. It can spread widely, creating a weed-smothering, ground-covering oasis of green. Use Hay Scented Fern under trees to crowd out invasive weeds like Garlic Mustard. It will provide a textural treat, while also giving birds and other small animals cover from predators as they forage on the forest floor.
This plant gets its name—not surprisingly—from the fact that its fronds smell like hay when crushed. The fragrance is most noticeable in fall, when the feathery foliage is dying back. At that time, Hay Scented Fern is visually appealing, too, because the pale green fronds often turn a glowing golden-yellow when autumn approaches. This species is primarily found in cool-summer areas all over New England. It also ranges south through the Appalachian Mountains to the foothills of Alabama. It can tolerate more sun and drier soil in the northernmost parts of its range and may form large colonies there.
How to use in the landscape?
Got deer? Ferns are usually a safe bet where deer are a problem. They provide needed greenery in the shady woodland garden spaces where deer may come looking for a meal, but deer tend to leave them alone. Hay Scented Fern is troubled by few pests of any kind and is relatively carefree.
Why Bower & Branch?
We do the hard part. Our trees and plants are grown and cared for by only the best, local growers for years before they find their forever home in your landscape. Bower & Branch is known for having hard-to-find, substantial sizes and selection. The quality of our trees and plants are consistent in health and vigor—always ready for immediate impact in your garden and instant curb appeal. We believe in empowering homeowners with the truth about strong, healthy and structurally sound plants that are grown to perform in the ground after they leave the nursery for home delivery, always fresh inventory from the grower
Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.
What is the definition of Native?
“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society
Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
How To Plant
Although Hay Scented Fern is one tough Spirit, treating it well will reap rewards. This means giving it a premium spot in the landscape where it will receive dappled sunlight or shade throughout the day. This Fern also appreciates rich, organic soil that holds some moisture but drains well and doesn’t stay soggy after a rain. Regular irrigation is important for lush growth, especially if plants are competing with tree roots for water. Hay Scented Fern goes dormant in the winter. Cut the spent fronds back in early spring, just before the new growth emerges.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
Hardiness Zone: 3-8