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Doodia Media or Rasp Fern
Perfect for a shady spot in your garden, Doodia Media or Rasp Fern (sometimes Common Rasp Fern) is an exotic-looking evergreen fern which will add visual interest to your garden year-round! Native to New Zealand, Doodia Media has evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage. When new fronds emerge in spring they are a brilliant red, changing to dark green as they mature. The stems remain red, creating a striking contrast with the green foliage throughout the year.
Hardy but with some frost tenderness in colder regions of the UK, Rasp Fern will reach a full height of 40 cm and spread of 1.2 metres in a period of 5 to 10 years. Remove dead or damaged stems as needed, but otherwise it needs no pruning. If planting in a group, space plants 50-90 cm apart.
Like many ferns, Doodia Media loves shade and thrives on damp soil (wet shade). Plant it in a sheltered position in acid to neutral sand, loam or clay soil with lots of well-rotted compost or leaf mould to simulate the conditions of its native forest habitat. It should be mulched with straw in winter in colder regions to protect from frost, or grown in a pot so that it can be moved into shelter. Resistant to rabbits and deer, it is a good choice for planting in a rural setting.
Rasp Fern lends itself to a variety of planting schemes, as long as its need for shade can be met. The colourful foliage and stems provide plenty of visual interest. Since it prefers moist soil, a spot next to a stream or pond would be perfect, possibly under the shade of a willow where a grouping of these ferns could grow happily. Tucked into a damp, shady corner of a mixed border, Doodia Media will thrive where little else might grow. Rasp Fern would also make an excellent underplant in a woodland garden. In a colder region, a potted plant would be a striking addition to a conservatory, providing a year-round foliage display.
Relatively rare in the UK, Doodia Media is a great way to fill in a shady spot with a plant that will thrive in damp conditions. It will brighten your garden in spring and provide a consistent background of attractive green foliage for the rest of the year!
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