I'm in Montreal, Canada zone 5a-5b (USDA zone 4), and although I add lots of compost types as well as fresh wood mulch yearly, my soil will remain fairly rich in clay. Which ferns indigenous to the Eastern seaboard will do well with clay, besides Athyrium filix-femina?

1 Answer 1


All of these should do well in zone 5 (they're native to the eastern US and Canada). Note that the ostrich fern can run quite a ways and become a nuisance in the garden. They're great in woods, though.

  • Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
  • Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana)
  • Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
  • Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
  • Jurp what do you think about Lady Fern, Athyrium filix-femina? As far as I know, it's native to all of North American, adapts to almost all soil types, including clay.
    – GardenGems
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 19:17
  • @GardenGems, I like Lady fern a lot, but didn't mention it because Samuel Martin wanted ferns other than Lady Fern - I took this to mean that he already knew that it was a good fern for clay. Of the ones I listed, I like Interrupted Fern the best (because of its interesting fronds) and then Royal Fern.
    – Jurp
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 21:07
  • Jurp, your right, I totally spaced out on that one. Too many thoughts running through my head.
    – GardenGems
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 21:10

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