The Male Fern is one of the most accommodating ferns for the garden. It develops fresh green fronds which form into large, impressive stands.
Dryopteris filix-mas tolerates a wide range of conditions once established, but when planted in semi-shade and moist soil it will produce the most attractive specimen plants, bringing English woodland lushness to borders of the garden.
Dryopteris filix-mas is one of the most common ferns in Europe, particularly in the British Isles. It has been cultivated as a medicinal plant for millennia for treating pain, fever, infection and is particularly effective in treating tapeworms!
The common name, Male Fern, was ascribed by the Ancient Greeks due to its robust constitution (Lady Fern being the delicate and lacy Athyrium filix-femina).
Care size & guidance
Male Fern is one of the most robust and accommodating ferns for UK gardens. Though it tolerates a wide range of conditions whilst established, the most attractive plants are produced when planted in semi-shade and moist soil.
The Male Fern will grow to impressive sizes reaching its ultimate height in just a few years. A rich moist soil will allow this plant to thrive.
Fertilise in spring with high nitrogen fertiliser.