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Blechnum ‘Spicant’
(Hard Fern)


Item release date 27 August 2024.
January - December
50cm x 45cm
Partial Shade, Shade
Easy Care
Fully Hardy
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Additional information

Plant Type
Fully Grown Size
Garden Position
Light Level
RHS Plants For Pollinators
RHS Garden Merit Award
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Blechnum 'Spicant', our friendly fern with a knack for turning any garden into a charming, green wonderland. 'Spicant', also known as the hard or deer fern, hails from various cool spots in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's an extremely adaptable fern. Blechnum 'Spicant's standout feature is its intricate fronds, lacy and full of texture. These fronds grow to approximately 30-45 cm, forming dense, green clumps, 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 rainfall levels are high; it's all the same to Blechnum 'Spicant'. Whether you're dressing up a Woodland Garden, decorating a slope, or adding a touch of green to a Rock Garden, Blechnum 'Spicant' is an excellent Fern to elevate the design.

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 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. Pruning is rarely necessary, but removing dead or damaged fronds can improve its appearance.