Polypodium vulgare is an evergreen, hardy fern with long, leathery, lance-shaped, dark green fronds (leaves). These have a slight lustre and produce an overall, very attractive, lacy appearance. It has creeping rhizomes (underground stems), helping it to spread without becoming invasive. The common name of Polypodium vulgare is common polypody. It is a British native plant.Position: Thrives in a cool, sunny or partially or fully shaded position in moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil. Good for woodland gardens, naturalised planting schemes and planting under trees. It can even be planted in walls.
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 excellent when grown in containers of good compost.
Aftercare: Although it will tolerate dry soil when established, water during prolonged dry periods, whenever the soil dries out and especially in dry shade, sunny positions or under trees. 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.