Dryopteris cycadina is a delightful, semi-evergreen, dropping its fronds (leaves) in severe winters, hardy fern. It forms a rosette of shuttlecock-like, spreading, mid-green fronds, borne on scaly stems. The common name of Dryopteris cycadina is shaggy shield fern.Position: Thrives in a cool, sunny or partially or fully shaded position in moist, but well-drained, humus-rich soil. Good 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 delightful when grown in containers of good compost.
Aftercare: Water during prolonged dry periods, whenever the soil dries out, especially when growing under trees or in sunny positions. 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.