Note: This plant can only bought in set of plants.
Dryopteris Filix-Mas (Basket Fern or Shield Fern) is a deciduous hardy fern with the RHS AGM. It’s a tall, soft green fern that suits full shade in mixed borders or foliage gardens.
Native to most of Asia, North America and Europe, Dryopteris Filix-Mas is generally known as Basket Fern or Shield Fern due to its tall outer leaves that protect the small, softer centre fronds. Its fronds die down in winter and re-emerge in early spring as tightly coiled ammonite-shaped new leaves. Leaves slowly unfurl to reveal a tuft of shuttlecock soft green fronds that mature over spring and summer often reaching 1.2 metres in height.
Basket Fern is botanically also called Aspidium Filix-Mas and sometimes the ‘worm fern’ referring to its historical use against tapeworm. No matter its name, Basket Fern is a beautiful, structural fern for shady, damp gardens, north-facing borders, and ferneries. If you have a damp, shady spot that won’t sustain flowering plants, ferns are the obvious choice. Shield Fern is a woodland understorey plant that thrives in full shade.
Height And Spread of Dryopteris Filix-Mas Basket Fern reaches a maximum height of 1.2 metres and spreads over 50 cms to a metre.
How Hardy Is Dryopteris Filix-Mas It’s native to the UK so Shield Fern is hardy enough to suit our climate. It dies down each winter and will survive sub-zero temperatures if the roots are well-drained. It does not cope with full sun.
How To Use Dryopteris Filix-Mas Use Shield Fern to fill a shady foliage border with tall structural shapes that require very little care. It suits woodland gardens, cottage gardens, shade gardens, and a dry spot beneath roses or trees if it’s well watered for the first few years. Its dried winter fronds are collected by songbirds and hedgehogs to build nests, so it suits low-maintenance wildlife gardens too You can grow Basket Fern in a large, well-watered container on a shady balcony or deck if its roots are kept damp.
How To Care For Dryopteris Filix-Mas Choose a position in full shade to partial shade in a sheltered or exposed spot that’s preferably moist. If they’re grown in dry shade, Basket Fern will need water until it’s established and plenty of organic mulch around the roots to trap moisture. There’s no need to prune Shield Ferns, but you can remove spent fronds in early spring to tidy up the area. Water well until established, mulch well in spring and if you are in central to northern areas of the UK, cover the crown with a layer of mulch to protect it from very harsh weather.