Dryopteris wallichiana is a robust, deciduous or semi-evergreen, dropping its fronds (leaves) in severe winters, hardy fern. It produces shuttlecock-like fronds that are yellowish-green when young, turning bright green as they mature, on upright, blackish-brown, hairy stems. The common name of Dryopteris wallichiana is alpine wood fern.Position: Thrives in partial or full shade position in moist, humus-rich soil. Good ground cover for shade, for woodland gardens and naturalised planting schemes.
Planting: Water thoroughly or stand the pot in a bucket of water for half an hour before planting. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot, mix compost and a granular fertiliser with the soil from the hole, remove the pot, place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil, back fill with the soil/compost mix and firm down to prevent air pockets. Water well after planting and during dry spells during the first growing season.
Also looks brilliant when grown in containers of good compost.
Aftercare: Although it may tolerate dry soil when established, water during prolonged dry periods, whenever the soil dries out and especially in dry shade. Mulch around the base of the plant with a thick layer of organic material annually. This keeps in moisture, prevents weeds and adds nutrients to the soil.
Feeding: Feed in spring with a granular fertiliser.
Pruning: Remove dead or damaged fronds as and when they appear.