Guide to low-maintenance gardening

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone

Best ferns for a low-water garden

These luxuriant ferns don’t need to drink a lot to be happy. Get our tips on the best types to plant and how to care for them

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Giant chain fern
Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Janet Kinosian

Giant chain fern

Species: Woodwardia fimbriata

Found in: Mild, wet coastal areas from British Columbia to Mexico.

Grows to: 9 feet tall in its native habitat; 4 to 6 feet tall in most gardens. Evergreen.

Why this fern? With thick, leathery fronds that shoot up straight and then spread out at the top, the plant resembles a cool green fountain.

Sunset climate zones: 2b–9, 14–24

More: All about Woodwardia fimbriata


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