Leatherwood Fern

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Light Green
Late Spring, Summer, Fall
18-24 Inches
Ships As
Full to Partial Shade
Deer Resistant

Leatherwood Fern - Dryopteris marginalis

Leatherwood Fern, also known as Dryopteris Marginalis, is a dark green, beautiful, semi-evergreen, perennial plant native to woodland parts of north-eastern North America. 

Other common names include marginal woodfern and evergreen woodfern. It gets its leatherwood fern name from its leathery appearance. It is an excellent addition to your garden because of its beautiful rich color and because it is easy to plant and maintain and is barely attacked by pests and diseases. 

 Leatherwood fern has dark green or bluish-green foliage that maintains the color even through winter. It has lance-shaped blades that form leathery green fronds that grow into a single-crowned clump. 

Its fronds grow erect in a vase shape and can reach 24 inches tall and spread up to 24 inches during maturity. It has sori at the margins or edges of its pinnule undersides, and its rhizomes create an erect crown. It tapers as it grows, making it thinner at the top than at the bottom. 

The leatherwood fern does not have flowers or fruits because it reproduces through spores. 

What are the growing requirements of Leatherwood Ferns?

The best time to plant a leatherwood fern is between spring and fall. Leatherwood fern does not spread, meaning you can plant it with no spaces in between. For a more beautiful look, grow the taller plants at the back and the shorter ones at the front. 

While it can adapt to different soil conditions, it does best in moist and rich soil, and you can plant it in acidic clay, loam, and sandy soil. It does well in full shade or partial sun, at most three hours of direct sun exposure daily. 

When you have new plants, ensure you water them daily. However, you can adjust the watering after three days depending on the weather and the soil you plant it. If you plant it in sand soil under hot weather, ensure you water it daily. However, if you plant it in clay soil or cooler weather, you can skip watering until the top inches of soil feel dry. 

Before planting it, soak the roots in water for a few hours and loosen the soil you will plant. When planting the fern, ensure the crows or sprouts are not over two inches under the ground because that could kill them. 

Where to buy Leatherwood Ferns?  Buy Leatherwood Fern online at Nance Plants.

Nance Plants has a huge amount of Leatherwood ferns available.

You can propagate it by division, but you must ensure you pull the roots carefully to avoid breaking them. To do this, you must shake off as much dirt as possible from the rhizomes to see the precise formation. Alternatively, you wait for the spores to mature and grow the crops from scratch. 


1. Do Leatherwood ferns come back every year?

A. Yes, Leatherwood ferns are perennial and will retunr every year.

2. How tall do leatherwood ferns grow?

A. Leatherwood ferns are fast growing and can reach 2-3 feet tall at full maturity.

Leatherwood fern is a common plant among florists because they are the best-looking fern species for floral arrangements. Their deer and rabbit-resistant nature make them an excellent crop to plant along the border of your garden. It also attracts songbirds, increasing the chances of pollinating your other plants.

One Year Guarantee on all Perennials & Ferns. See Healthy Plant Guarantee for more details.
Light Green
Late Spring, Summer, Fall
18-24 Inches
Ships As:
Full to Partial Shade
Deer Resistant:

2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Leatherwood Fern

    Posted by Leatherwood Fern on Mar 20, 2023

    I received my order today. Everything looks good. I was surprised to see planting instructions.

  • 5
    Leatherwood Fern

    Posted by Leatherwood Fern on Mar 09, 2023

    Love the Leatherwood ferns. It is an evergreen fern that adds texture and color to the garden year-round

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