Skip to site navigation

Onoclea sensibilis AGM

Home  |  Plants > Plant Selector > Onoclea sensibilis AGM

© RHS 2001

Characteristics

Plant type

Bog or Fern

Habit

Suckering

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Foliage

Pale Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

1.5-2.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

sensitive fern

Family

Onocleaceae


Onoclea are deciduous ferns with creeping rhizomes and pinnately divided sterile fronds; spores borne on more erect, blackish, contracted fertile fronds

O. sensibilis is a deciduous, rhizomatous fern forming extensive colonies of broad, light green, pinnate fronds to 60cm in length, the pinnae deeply lobed. Shorter, narrow fertile fronds have much reduced, blackish lobes

Other common names

  • bead fern
  • Japanese ostrich fern
  • ostrich fern

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, moist, shaded sites. Good for pondside plantings but may become invasive in smaller gardens

Soil

  • Poorly-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Clay, Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe or by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance, Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs or Wildflower meadow


How to care

Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free outdoors