Variegated Holly Fern
Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata'
Variegated Holly Fern foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 16 inches
Spread: 26 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
A stunning evergreen fern, this variety has tapering ladder like leaves that are variegated, creating spectacular contrast; excellent massed or as groundcover in shaded borders or featured in shady areas of rock gardens
Variegated Holly Fern's attractive ferny compound leaves emerge light green in spring, turning forest green in color with showy yellow variegation the rest of the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Variegated Holly Fern is an herbaceous evergreen fern with a shapely form and gracefully arching fronds. 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. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Variegated Holly Fern is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Variegated Holly Fern will grow to be about 16 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 26 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.
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 particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.