The King Ostrich Fern

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Shade Garden Royalty The King Ostrich Fern

  • Perfect Specimen
  • Grows in Shade or Partial Shade
  • Use in Rain Gardens
  • Slowly Naturalizes
  • Upright Fronds
  • Rabbits Tend to Leave Them Alone
  • Tolerates Wet and Clay Soils
  • Extremely Cold Tolerant

Ferns and Hostas make natural partners for the shady parts of your landscape. Surely, the crown jewel must be The King Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). This tall, upright plant adds a dynamic natural appeal.

In moist, cool areas, this clump-forming fern slowly naturalizes. Eventually, they will grow to create a magnificent specimen stand.

The King is a wonderful shade-loving selection that will fill in along the back of a Hosta glade. Use it alongside a pond or natural water feature to soften the edges and create a lush view.

In spring, youll be enchanted by the young fiddleheads as they unfurl from the base. These sterile green fronds proudly stretch out into a lovely, vase-shaped, green accent plant.

Starting in mid-summer, tan spears of fertile fronds begin to rise from the center of the plant. Let them dry and remain to add winter interest in your yard.

The King is much larger than the typical Ostrich fern. Youll love watching the enormous, upright leaves develop each season.

Place your order from our expert growers today. Youll be so pleased at the quality of The King Ostrich Fern.

How to Use The King Ostrich Fern in the Landscape

Make the most out of a shaded area that you may have struggled with in the past. These plants help turn an eyesore into a special focal point.

These tall ferns are clumping, but they will slowly spread by underground rhizomes. If you let them, over time theyll grow into a beautiful tall groundcover for you.

Cheat and plant several if you want results faster! Plant them 15 inches apart, measuring from the center of one to the center of the next.

Run them along the length of your treeline in the shade. Use Hostas and smaller ferns in front to create a fabulous, easy-care border.

Use on the north side of your house, or under taller trees. Theyll look especially beautiful surrounding a water feature where you can enjoy their reflection, as well.

They can handle moist soil, so be sure to include them in a shady Rain Garden to help filter runoff from roofs and streets before it hits the storm drain.

Enjoy these incredible plants!

#ProPlantTips for Care

Use this plant in the shade to partial shade. They will not do well if given more than 4 hours of sunlight a day.

The King Ostrich Fern loves to be damp, but they will adapt to periodically dry soil once their roots are established in your landscape. Please give your plants supplemental water in times of drought.

Wait to prune until late winter or early spring. Snip last year's fronds before the new growth starts.

There is nothing like a Fern. And we cant think of a Fern more majestic than The King Ostrich. Order today and fall in love!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


The King Ostrich Fern Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-7
Growing Zones 3-7
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Matteuccia struthiopteris 'The King'
Mature Height 3 - 5 feet
Mature Spread 18 - 24 inches
Sun Exposure Full Shade
Soil Loamy, Moist, Well Drained
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Perennial
Foliage Perennial
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly No