Bring the Outdoors Home

Sweetfern | Plant Profile

Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) are fragrant, small to medium shrubs that are native to the Northeastern United States. Small oval leaves grow in finger-like clusters. The color of the foliage can be medium to olive green. Insignificant yellow flowers produce tiny nuts. They can often be found in poor soils along roadsides.

Sweetfern prefers average, medium moisture, well drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Sweetfern’s ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions means that they have a multitude of garden uses. Their root systems can stabilize slopes or hillsides where other plants may struggle. They can add greenery to infertile and harsh areas. If left to naturalize, they may form colonies of sweet smelling groundcover.


Sweetfern Characteristics

Sweetfern are adaptable to a wide range of soils and inclement weather. These hardy shrubs can tolerate high winds, wet, dry, sandy or infertile soils. Once established, these shrubs should not be transplanted. Propagation can occur quickly and they may begin to form groundcover-like colonies.

Low maintenance and hardy shrubs, Sweetfern have little to no insect or disease problems that may be life threatening.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 2 - 6
2.00 - 5.00'
4.00 - 8.00'
Bloom Time
April - May
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?