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Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Woodsia scopulina
Also known as : Cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern is a small perennial fern native to the western and northern United States and Canada. It naturally grows on cool, shaded cliffs, in moist to dry rock crevices. It is distinguished from other species of the genus by stems that are mostly chestnut brown (at least at the base), the lack of a joint near the base, and old stem bases of varying lengths.
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
5
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Key Facts About Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Attributes of Rocky mountain cliff fern

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Herb
Plant Height
20 cm to 46 cm
Spread
20 cm to 45 cm
Leaf type
Deciduous
Ideal Temperature
5 - 25 ℃

Scientific Classification of Rocky mountain cliff fern

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distribution

Distribution of Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Habitat of Rocky mountain cliff fern

Cliffs and rocky slopes, on a variety of substrates including both granite and limestone
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
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Questions About Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Watering Watering Watering
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
What is the best way to water my Rocky mountain cliff fern?
When watering the Rocky mountain cliff fern, you should aim to use filtered water that is at room temperature. Filtered water is better for this plant, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to its health. The reason that the water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer is that the Rocky mountain cliff fern comes from a warm environment, and cold water can be somewhat of a shock to its system. Also, you should avoid overhead watering for this plant, as it can cause foliage complications. Instead, simply apply your filtered room temperature water to the soil until the soil is entirely soaked. Soaking the soil can be very beneficial for this plant as it moistens the roots and helps them continue to spread through the soil and collect the nutrients they need.
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What should I do if I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern too much or too little?
Both overwatering and underwatering will be detrimental to the health of your Rocky mountain cliff fern, but overwatering is a far more common issue. When this species receives too much water, its stems and leaves may begin to wilt and turn from green to yellow. Overwatering over a prolonged period may also lead to diseases such as root rot, mold, and mildew, all of which can kill your plant. Underwatering is far less common for the Rocky mountain cliff fern, as this plant has decent drought tolerance. However, underwatering remains a possibility, and when it occurs, you can expect to find that the leaves of your Rocky mountain cliff fern have become brittle and brown.
It is crucial that you notice the signs of overwatering as soon as possible when caring for your Rocky mountain cliff fern. Some of the diseases that arise from overwatering, such as root rot, may not be correctable if you wait too long. If you see early signs of overwatering, you should reduce your watering schedule immediately. You may also want to assess the quality of soil in which your Rocky mountain cliff fern grows. If you find that the soil drains very poorly, you should replace it immediately with a loose, well-draining potting mix. On the other hand, if you find signs that your Rocky mountain cliff fern is receiving too little water, all you need to do is water more regularly until those signs have subsided.
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How often should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern?
If your plant is in a pot. The most precise way to decide whether your Rocky mountain cliff fern needs water is to plunge your finger into the soil. If you notice that the first two to three inches of soil have become dry, it is time to add some water.
If you grow your Rocky mountain cliff fern outdoors in the ground, you can use a similar method to test the soil. Again, when you find that the first few inches of soil have dried out, it is time to add water. During the spring and early fall, this method will often lead you to water this plant about once every week. When extremely hot weather arrives, you may need to increase your watering frequency to about twice or more per week. With that said, mature, well-established the Rocky mountain cliff fern can show an admirable ability to withstand drought.
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How much water does my Rocky mountain cliff fern need?
When it comes time to water your Rocky mountain cliff fern, you should not be shy about how much water you give. With the first two to three inches of soil dry, this plant will appreciate a long and thorough watering. Supply enough water to soak the soil entirely. The amount of water you add should be enough to cause excess water to flow through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If you don’t see excess water draining from the pot, you have likely underwatered your plant. But do not let the water accumulate inside the soil, which will be very dangerous to the plant as well. Alternatively, a lack of water draining through the pot could indicate poorly draining soils, which is detrimental to the health of this plant and should be avoided. If the plant is outside, 1 inch of rain per week will be sufficient.
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How should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern at different growth stages?
The water needs of the Rocky mountain cliff fern can change depending on growth stages as well. For example, when your Rocky mountain cliff fern is in the first few years of its life, or if you have just transplanted it to a new growing location, you will need to give more water than usual. During both of those stages, your Rocky mountain cliff fern will put a lot of energy towards sprouting new roots that will then support future growth. For those roots to perform their best, they need a bit more moisture than they would at a more mature phase. After a few seasons, your Rocky mountain cliff fern will need much less water. Another growth stage in which this plant may need more water is during the bloom period. Flower development can make use of a significant amount of moisture, which is why you might need to give your Rocky mountain cliff fern more water at this time.
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How should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern through the seasons?
The Rocky mountain cliff fern will have its highest water needs during the hottest months of the year. During the height of summer, you may need to give this plant water more than once per week, depending on how fast the soil dries out. The opposite is true during the winter. In winter, your plant will enter a dormant phase, in which it will need far less water than usual. In fact, you may not need to water this plant at all during the winter months. However, if you do water during winter, you should not do so more than about once per month. Watering too much at this time will make it more likely that your Rocky mountain cliff fern will contract a disease.
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What's the difference between watering my Rocky mountain cliff fern indoors and outdoors?
It is most common to grow the Rocky mountain cliff fern indoors for any gardener that does not live in temperate and tropical regions. Those gardeners should consider the fact that soil in a container can dry out a bit faster than ground soil. Also, the presence of drying elements such as air conditioning units can cause your Rocky mountain cliff fern to need water on a more frequent basis as well. if you planted it outside. When that is the case, it’s likely you won’t need to water your Rocky mountain cliff fern very much at all. If you receive rainfall on a regular basis, that may be enough to keep your plant alive. Alternatively, those who grow this plant inside will need to water it more often, as allowing rainwater to soak the soil will not be an option.
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More Info on Rocky Mountain Cliff Fern Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
Temperature
-20 - 30 ℃
Native to temperate regions, rocky mountain cliff fern thrives best in a temperature range of 41 to 77 °F (5 to 25 ℃). Seasonal temperature adjustments may be necessary to mimic its natural environment. Avoid exposing it to extreme cold or heat.
Temp for Healthy Growth
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Plants Related to Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Bluntlobe cliff fern
Bluntlobe cliff fern
In the wild, bluntlobe cliff fern (Woodsia obtusa) loves growing on rock faces or on cliffs—hence the name. This is a good fern for new gardeners, because it's very easy to grow and can tolerate rocky soil.
Rusty woodsia
Rusty woodsia
Found in cool, forested regions, rusty woodsia was once so popular with collectors that it has become endangered in the United Kingdom and certain parts of the US. Rusty woodsia grows on cliff sides, rocks, and sometimes terrestrially, and the silvery undersides of its fronds turn a rust color in autumn, giving it its name.
Hay-scented fern
Hay-scented fern
Hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) is a deciduous fern native to eastern North America. Hay-scented fern gets its common name from the overwhelming scent of hay from its aromatic leaves. When this species grows, trees are more likely to grow and seed.
Brittle bladderfern
Brittle bladderfern
Brittle bladderfern, or Cystopteris fragilis, is found around the world wherever there are moist, shady areas. This plant grows in small clumps which form from rhizomes. Some plants are sterile and some are fertile.
Slender lip fern
Slender lip fern
Native to North America, slender lip fern is usually found in calcareous soils and rocks, such as limestone, where it grows between cracks. This fern is easily recognizable by the numerous densely haired leaves produced by rhizomes.
Western brackenfern
Western brackenfern
Western brackenfern (Pteridium aquilinum) is a fern species found throughout the globe. Western brackenfern is also known as the Hog-brake or the Eagle Fern. In North America this plant starts to appear in spring. A single frond of this plant can produce up to 300000 spores every year. This plant produces fewer spores if grown in the shade.
Bulblet bladderfern
Bulblet bladderfern
Bulblet bladderfern (*Cystopteris bulbifera*) is a species of low-growing rock fern that is found primarily in eastern North America. In spring, the plant sprouts as red-colored fiddleheads which then unfurl and turn green. As the common name suggests, the plant propagates itself by producing small bulb lets at the base of its fronds, which is an unusual form of reproduction for ferns.
Cutleaf balsamroot
Cutleaf balsamroot
Found in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, cutleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza macrophylla) is a species commonly grazed by livestock and large animals. The flowers are particularly loved by horses. As a mountain species, cutleaf balsamroot is rarely found at low altitudes.
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Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern
Woodsia scopulina
Also known as: Cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern is a small perennial fern native to the western and northern United States and Canada. It naturally grows on cool, shaded cliffs, in moist to dry rock crevices. It is distinguished from other species of the genus by stems that are mostly chestnut brown (at least at the base), the lack of a joint near the base, and old stem bases of varying lengths.
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
5
more
plant_info

Key Facts About Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Feedback
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Attributes of Rocky mountain cliff fern

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Herb
Plant Height
20 cm to 46 cm
Spread
20 cm to 45 cm
Leaf type
Deciduous
Ideal Temperature
5 - 25 ℃
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Scientific Classification of Rocky mountain cliff fern

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distribution

Distribution of Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Feedback
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Habitat of Rocky mountain cliff fern

Cliffs and rocky slopes, on a variety of substrates including both granite and limestone
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Rocky mountain cliff fern

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
question

Questions About Rocky mountain cliff fern

feedback
Feedback
feedback
Watering Watering Watering
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
What is the best way to water my Rocky mountain cliff fern?
more
What should I do if I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern too much or too little?
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How often should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern?
more
How much water does my Rocky mountain cliff fern need?
more
How should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern at different growth stages?
more
How should I water my Rocky mountain cliff fern through the seasons?
more
What's the difference between watering my Rocky mountain cliff fern indoors and outdoors?
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More Info on Rocky Mountain Cliff Fern Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Plants Related to Rocky mountain cliff fern

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Requirements
Ideal
Tolerable
Unsuitable
Just like people, each plant has its own preferences. Learn about your plants' temperature needs and create a comforting environment for them to flourish. As you care for your plants, your bond with them will deepen. Trust your intuition as you learn about their temperature needs, celebrating the journey you share. Lovingly monitor the temperature around your plants and adjust their environment as needed. A thermometer can be your ally in this heartfelt endeavor. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore your plants' temperature needs. Cherish your successes, learn from challenges, and nurture your garden with love, creating a haven that reflects the warmth of your care.
Essentials
Native to temperate regions, rocky mountain cliff fern thrives best in a temperature range of 41 to 77 °F (5 to 25 ℃). Seasonal temperature adjustments may be necessary to mimic its natural environment. Avoid exposing it to extreme cold or heat.
Regional wintering strategies
Rocky mountain cliff fern is highly cold-tolerant and does not require additional frost protection measures during winter. However, before the first freeze in autumn, it is recommended to water the plant generously to ensure the soil remains moist and enters a frozen state. This helps prevent drought and water scarcity for the plant during winter and early spring.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Low Temperature in Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern is extremely cold-tolerant, but the winter temperature should be maintained above {Limit_growth_temperature}. If the temperature drops below this threshold, although there may not be any noticeable changes during winter, there may be a decrease in sprouting or even no sprouting during springtime.
Solutions
In spring, remove any parts that have failed to sprout.
Symptoms of High Temperature in Rocky mountain cliff fern
Rocky mountain cliff fern is not tolerant to high temperatures. When the temperature exceeds {Suitable_growth_temperature_max}, its growth will stop, and it becomes more susceptible to rot.
Solutions
Trim away the sunburned and dried-up parts. Move the plant to a location that provides shade from the midday and afternoon sun, or use a shade cloth to create shade. Water the plant in the morning and evening to keep the soil moist.
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