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Polystichum aculeatum (Hard shield fern)

Advanced
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
0.45m
Max height
0.45m
Max spread
5-10 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Polystichum aculeatum

Other names

Hard shield fern

Genus

Polystichum Polystichum

Species

P. aculeatum - P. aculeatum is an evergreen fern with long tapering, finely divided leaves forming a shuttlecock form.


Polystichum aculeatum is: Evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming, Spreading

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

Polystichum aculeatum (Hard shield fern) will reach a height of 0.45m and a spread of 0.45m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

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

Cultivation

Plant in a most cool, moist, lightly shaded site or full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in their 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

Polystichum aculeatum

Other names

Hard shield fern

Genus

Polystichum Polystichum

Species

P. aculeatum - P. aculeatum is an evergreen fern with long tapering, finely divided leaves forming a shuttlecock form.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Clump-forming, Spreading

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

Polystichum aculeatum (Hard shield fern) will reach a height of 0.45m and a spread of 0.45m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

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

Cultivation

Plant in a most cool, moist, lightly shaded site or full sun if given plenty of moisture. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in their 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

Polystichum aculeatum

The hard shield-fern is an attractive foliage plant for a shaded border or rockery. Few invertebrates are closely associated with ferns. Ladybirds may shelter in the dead fronds. read more

There is 1 active discussion about Polystichum aculeatum (Hard shield fern)

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