Hart's Tongue Fern
Hart's Tongue Fern foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 6b
Other Names: Asplenium scolopendrium
This variety is unusual in that it has simple, undivided fronds that are up to 2 feet long; yellowish and stunted in full sun; luxurious green foliage is a welcome addition to the garden as a groundcover
Hart's Tongue Fern is primarily valued in the garden for its ornamental upright and spreading habit of growth. Its attractive glossy narrow leaves remain green in colour throughout the year.
Hart's Tongue Fern is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Hart's Tongue Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Hart's Tongue Fern will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Hart's Tongue Fern is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our experts for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.