Ostrich Ferns: More Than Just A Good Looking Plant

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Real Men Sow

You are looking for something that looks stunning and elegant at the same moment? Ostrich Ferns is an excellent choice. Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia Struthiopteris) is a tall, graceful, upright-arching deciduous Fern that makes a strong statement in any outdoor area. Its foliage resembles the Ostrich bird’s large feathers. This plant is named after it.

Ostrich Ferns are a great backdrop for other garden plants. They spread quickly and fill your outdoor space with unique-looking leaves. It can also be used in fresh flower bouquets that you can bring inside.

Ostrich Fern can also be used as a healthy snack. You can pick up fiddleheads from spring’s emerging leaves and eat them raw or cooked. Fiddleheads taste a bit like okra, beet greens, and asparagus. Fiddleheads are high in potassium and make a great snack.

How to Grow Ostrich Ferns

Ostrich Ferns should be planted in a shallow, well-lit hole to allow for root growth. Make sure that your Ostrich Fern’s crown is at the top of the soil when planting it. Fill in the soil around the roots and water the area.

Remember that these plants can grow to large sizes when they mature. It is important to leave at least 5 feet between your Ferns and other plants when you plant them. This will allow your Ostrich Ferns enough space to grow and ensures that other plants don’t become choked by the dense foliage. When planting Ostrich Ferns, it is important to choose a sunny spot.

Ostrich Ferns can be grown in containers, even though it’s not ideal. You can grow Ostrich Ferns indoors by using large containers that allow the plant to develop and expand its root systems. This plant needs lower light conditions to thrive indoors.

Potting and Repotting Ostrich Ferns

Planting an ostrich fern in a container is advisable to allow it to grow and spread as it matures. It should be planted in rich, acidic clay soil. Water it regularly to keep the dirt moist. If you keep it indoors, make sure it has adequate lighting. 

When the plant starts to fill out its container and becomes rootbound, you will need to report it. When placed in a container, these ferns can make a big statement on your outdoor patios or entryways.

Propagating Ostrich Fern

Ostrich Ferns are capable of propagating their own plants. It spreads quickly so it is possible to have to divide plants frequently to control their spread and not outcompete their neighbors.

It is important to regularly divide the underground rhizomes to control the process of propagation. Early spring is the best time to do this because new growth emerges.

General Care for Ostrich Ferns

Each specimen produces long stolons but has a very short rhizome. Once established, ostrich ferns can spread quickly and, although they are not listed as invasive, they can be considered invasive because they will rapidly overtake any area.

Young fronds can be harvested from the garden or purchased at a specialty market. They are thick and very succulent. It tastes similar to asparagus. They make great cut accents to bouquets because of their attractive texture and shape. They are resistant to deer and rabbits, and they do not have any serious pests or diseases.


This fern can grow in partial to complete shade. Open shade is preferred. If exposed to full sunlight, leaves can turn yellow or burn. It can tolerate full sun only if it is planted in a cool and moist area.


The ostrich fern should be given rich, clay soil that is both humus-rich & moist. Keep the pH level between 5 and 6. They are adapted to creek beds and marshes.


To maintain moderate to wet conditions throughout the summer, water is essential. The foliage could go dormant if it doesn’t get enough moisture.


Although it is not necessary for an ostrich fern to be fertilized, you should fertilize other plants near the ferns.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.