Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.

New Features on Our Memberships and Subscriptions

Search

Western Sword Ferns Polystichum munitum

Growing Western Sword Fern: Tips at a Glance

A hardy perennial ground cover that thrives in dense, dry shade, western sword fern also is a happy houseplant if it has indirect light, moist soil, and humidity (mist it regularly if the air in your home feels dry).

  • Type Fern
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones 3-8
  • Light Filtered sun
  • Soil Wet to dry
  • Water Drought tolerant
  • Design Tip Shady ground cover
  • Companions Azalea, lily of the valley
  • When to Plant Divide in spring

Western Sword Ferns: A Field Guide

A hardy, drought-tolerant ground cover native to shady woodlands from Alaska to California in the United States, western sword ferns also are dramatic houseplants to brighten up a corner in a dark room.

You’ll often spot Polystichum munitum growing along a trail beneath Douglas firs, cedars, or redwood trees—a clue to how hardy these ferns are, as most other plants cannot tolerate the dry, shady conditions beneath a thick tree canopy. In a garden, western sword ferns make happy companions to coral bells and shade-loving shrubs such as rhododendrons or azaleas.

Plant or divide existing clumps of western sword ferns in spring to give their roots a full growing season to establish before colder temperatures arrive. Give them plenty of space: a mature fern can measure 3 feet in diameter and grow up to 3 feet tall.

Planting, Care & Design of Western Sword Ferns

More About Western Sword Ferns

v5.0