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Blechnum Spicant
(Hard Fern)


January - December
60cm x 90cm
Partial Shade, Shade
Foliage Colour
Fully Hardy
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Meet Blechnum Spicant, the adaptable, shade-loving fern that adds intricate, green charm to your garden. Low-maintenance and deer-resistant, it’s a must-have for any shady spot.

Additional information

Plant Type
Flower Colour
Fully Grown Size
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RHS Plants For Pollinators
RHS Garden Merit Award
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Meet Blechnum Spicant, the friendly fern with a knack for turning any garden into a charming, green wonderland. This little guy, also known as the hard or deer fern, hails from various cool spots in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's more adaptable than your favorite yoga instructor. Blechnum Spicant's claim to fame is its intricate fronds, like a lacy doily at a botanical tea party. These fronds grow to be about 12 to 18 inches (30-45 cm), forming dense, green clumps. It's like a crowd of mini green umbrellas, perfect for the shadier spots in your garden. The real star quality of this fern is its ability to handle all kinds of moisture situations. It doesn't care if you forget to water for a while or if it rains cats and dogs; it's all the same to Blechnum Spicant. Plus, deer give it a pass, so you won't have any garden intruders nibbling on it. Whether you're dressing up a Woodland Garden, decorating a slope, or adding a touch of green to a Rock Garden, Blechnum Spicant is your trusty sidekick. It's nature's way of reminding us that you don't have to be the biggest or brightest to be a star in the garden world. So, let this friendly fern turn your garden into a lush, green haven with its easygoing, leafy charm.

Planting Conditions

Blechnum Spicant, commonly known as hard fern or deer fern, is a robust and versatile evergreen fern. This native plant of the UK is a valuable addition to shaded or woodland gardens. To ensure successful growth, plant it in well-drained, acidic to neutral soil. It thrives in partial to full shade, making it ideal for areas with limited sunlight. Maintain consistent moisture levels in the soil, keeping it evenly moist but not waterlogged. Mulching around the base helps retain moisture and provides winter protection. Blechnum Spicant's resilience and adaptability make it an excellent choice for creating lush, green under-planting or ground cover in a variety of garden settings.

Watering & Feeding

Watering and feeding Blechnum Spicant, or hard fern, is crucial for its optimal growth. This resilient evergreen fern thrives with consistent moisture. In hot, dry weather, ensure the soil remains evenly moist, but avoid waterlogging, which can harm the plant. Watering in the morning helps prevent excess moisture on the foliage, reducing the risk of disease. Fertilisation is generally not necessary for this low-maintenance fern. However, if the fronds show signs of yellowing or stunted growth, a balanced, slow-release fertiliser applied in the Spring can provide a gentle nutrient boost. Blechnum Spicant's adaptability to its surroundings often reduces the need for frequent feeding, making it a suitable choice for gardens with minimal maintenance requirements.

General Care

General care for Blechnum Spicant, or hard fern, is relatively straightforward. This evergreen fern is well-suited to shaded or woodland garden environments. Ensure it is planted in well-drained, acidic to neutral soil. It thrives in partial to full shade, making it perfect for areas with limited sunlight. Consistent moisture is crucial for its health, so keep the soil evenly moist, particularly in dry spells. Mulching around the base can help maintain moisture levels and provide protection in colder months. Pruning is rarely necessary, but removing dead or damaged fronds can improve its appearance. With its low-maintenance nature, Blechnum Spicant is a valuable addition to gardens, creating a lush, green under-planting or ground cover. Regular monitoring for moisture levels and occasional cleanup are key aspects of its care.