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Dryopteris filix-mas (Male fern)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.5m
Max height
1m
Max spread
5-10 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Dryopteris filix-mas

Other names

Male fern, Basket fern, Shield fern, Dryopteris filix mas

Genus

Dryopteris Dryopteris

Species

D. filix-mas - D. filix-mas is a vigorous, clump-forming, deciduous fern with upright, lance-shaped, bipinnate, mid-green fronds divided into narrowly lance-shaped pinnae with small, oval segments.


Dryopteris filix-mas is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Insignificant or absent in All seasons

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Remove dead or damaged fronds.

Propagation methods

Division, Spores


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Where to grow

Dryopteris filix-mas (Male fern) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Underplanting, Wildflower, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant in a cool, moist, lightly shaded site or in full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in the first season and mulch well.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Dryopteris filix-mas

Other names

Male fern, Basket fern, Shield fern, Dryopteris filix mas

Genus

Dryopteris Dryopteris

Species

D. filix-mas - D. filix-mas is a vigorous, clump-forming, deciduous fern with upright, lance-shaped, bipinnate, mid-green fronds divided into narrowly lance-shaped pinnae with small, oval segments.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Insignificant or absent in All seasons

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer

General care

Pruning

Remove dead or damaged fronds.

Propagation methods

Division, Spores


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Dryopteris filix-mas (Male fern) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Underplanting, Wildflower, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant in a cool, moist, lightly shaded site or in full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in the first season and mulch well.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Shade Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Dryopteris filix-mas

It is the native fern most widely found in gardens. Unlike many ferns, they can tolerate drier conditions and well-drained sandy soils. The rhizomes can be useful hibernating sites for small… read more

There are 2 active discussions about Dryopteris filix-mas (Male fern)

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