Dryopteris filix-mas

Male Fern

(2 customer reviews)

From £7.95

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.

Origin: Temperate N. Hemisphere, including the British Isles
Genus: Dryopteris
Species / Cultivar: Dryopteris
Common Name: Male Fern
Synonym: Dryopteris caucasia x oreade

Plant Biography

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).

Dryopteris filix-mas
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
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
Enjoys several hours of direct sunlight but may enjoy dappling or shade at midday.
Eventual Height: 1.2m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.9m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.

Expert Tip

The Male fern will loose its fronds over winter. Use the dead fronds to cover the growing tip until next spring to protect it from frost. Like any deciduous plant remember to allow space if planting when dormant!
Care size & guidance

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.

Ordered 4 of these and they all arrived in great condition. Very happy, great service

Chris B

Ordered 4 of these and they all arrived in great condition. Very happy, great service

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2 customer reviews for Dryopteris filix-mas

Lovely quality fern. A lot smaller than I was expecting to be honest but I’m sure
It will come into its own once planted out.

Syvia P.

Ordered 4 of these and they all arrived in great condition. Very happy, great service

Chris B.