Delivery Date Determined By Size
Audubon Native Sensitive Fern and native birds
Native Sensitive Fern closeup of deep emerald green fronds
Chipping Sparrow
White-Eyed Vireo
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Native Regions map for Sensitive Fern
Audubon Native Sensitive Fern and native birds
Native Sensitive Fern closeup of deep emerald green fronds
Chipping Sparrow
White-Eyed Vireo
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Native Regions map for Sensitive Fern


  • 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


Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Mature Height: 4' tall
  • Mature Width: 4' wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Spacing: 4' apart

Audubon® Sensitive Fern

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Onoclea sensibilis

Regular price $69.00
Delivery Date Determined By Size
Shipping included
Security Icon

Why plant Audubon® Sensitive Fern?

So-called because its foliage dies back with the first frosts, Sensitive Fern is not delicate in other respects. Although its fronds are vulnerable to cold, the plant itself is not—it’s native to places where winter temperatures may drop to 40 below zero! It can grow rather aggressively in some places, creating steadily spreading colonies. In appearance, too, Sensitive Fern is not dainty. Its fronds are not feathery like those of other Ferns, but bold and sassy. Wonderful as a groundcover in moist woodland gardens and semi-wild spaces. It will crowd out invasive weeds and provide cover to frogs, salamanders, and other small animals.

A survivor! According to the fossil record, Sensitive Fern has hardly changed in 60 million years. This hardy, durable, reliable, indomitable plant just keeps going on year after year and millennium after millennium, with no need to change the survival strategy that has served it so well. In the U.S., this species inhabits a vast range that encompasses virtually all of the eastern states, from Minnesota to Texas and east to the Coast. It’s even found in the wild in Siberia, China, and other parts of East Asia. Sensitive Fern is also known as Bead Fern, because of the beadlike reproductive structures on its fertile fronds.

How to use Audubon® Sensitive Fern in the landscape?

In late summer, Sensitive Fern produces strange shoots that are plumelike and cinnamon-brown in color. These fertile fronds, as they are called, are covered with tiny, beadlike structures from which spores (the Fern version of seeds) are released. You can cut fertile fronds and use them as interesting additions to dried flower arrangements. They last a long time.

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 Audubon® Sensitive Fern

Although Sensitive 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. Sensitive 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.

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 4-8

How Does Shipping Work?

Size AA & AAA (our Treelings, Shrubs, Bushes, and Perennials) will be shipped directly to your home by a common carrier. Ships in a plant-safe designed box within 5-7 business days.

Our Guarantees

90 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Bower & Branch guarantees customer satisfaction within all product groups and sizes. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product or experience, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to request a replacement of the purchased product(s). How? Reach out to a Plant Whisperer: - Email: - Phone: 866-873-3888 - Or via Online Chat

Shield Logo
Protect your growing investment!

Our 3-Year-Tree Guarantee

We stand behind our trees and plants; our goal is your success.