Doodia aspera

prickly rasp fern

Doodia aspera is a tough fern with an upright habit, growing in most conditions, from full sun to full shade, coping really well with short periods of drought, windy and saltier locations.

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Origin: Eastern Australia
Genus: Doodia
Species / Cultivar: aspera
Common Name: prickly rasp fern
Synonym: Blechnum neohollandicum

Plant Biography

Originally found in the Eastern parts of Australia, Doodia aspera has recently found its way in cultivation and is already enjoying a plethora of cultivars. In the wild it’s found at the edge of the eucalyptus forests or rainforests.

A robust fern that will grow in most conditions, whilst requiring minimal care. In spring, the fronds appear pinky coloured and turn mid green when mature.

Doodia aspera
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Final Size: Small
Will stay small enough for a desk or shelf.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade to Full Shade
Can enjoy several hours of direct sunlight, but also happy in full shade.
Eventual Height: 0.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Habit: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.

Expert Tip

Doodia aspera is an ideal fern for containers as it needs to be protected from freezing temperatures in winter in at least an unheated conservatory. It may stay outside in walled gardens in the South part of the UK, however damage due to cold is expected.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Doodia aspera can be planted in a wide range of situations, from full sun to full shade. However, if planted in containers, a bit more care should be taken to keep the soil moist. The rasp fern can withstand short periods of drought.

Clean the dead and damaged fronds in spring to allow the new growth to shine through. Apply fern fertilizer during the growth period, from March to September.

The fern can be kept indoors too over winter, however, further care needs to be taken as the plant is prone to be host for thrips, aphids and mealy bugs.


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