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Dryopteris ‘Filix-Mas’
(Male Fern)


Item release date 20 June 2024.
January - October
120cm x 75cm
Partial Shade, Shade
Easy Care
Fully Hardy
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Dryopteris ‘Filix-mas,’ commonly known as the male fern, is a reliable garden performer, earning the RHS Garden Merit award. Our team loves its robust, arching fronds that add a lush, green presence to shaded borders and woodland gardens. This hardy, low-maintenance fern thrives in moist, well-drained soil and pairs beautifully with Hostas and Astilbes, providing depth and structure to any garden design.

Additional information

Plant Type
Fully Grown Size
Garden Position
Light Level
Special Features
RHS Plants For Pollinators
RHS Garden Merit Award
30 Day Returns


Lifetime Guarantee



Dryopteris 'Filix-Mas', the "Macho Fern" or Male Fern has a charismatic charming energy that's hard to resist. This rugged yet appealing semi-evergreen fern, native to Europe and North America, is the perfect companion for your garden. With finely divided, feathery fronds in an upright habit that are reminiscent of a moustache, this fern stands impactfully tall and adds an air of boldness to your outdoor space, reminiscent of a dapper gentleman. Dryopteris 'Filix-Mas' is adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments, from moist woodlands to shaded corners, beds and borders or used for ground cover and under-planting. Its tolerance to fluctuating temperatures makes it a reliable choice for your garden, just like a steadfast friend. In a humorous twist, Dryopteris 'Filix-Mas' is also known as the "Male Fern." Despite its name, it's perfect for gardens of all genders, offering a unique and attractive presence that's hard to overlook. If you're looking for a plant with a macho appeal that doesn't take itself too seriously, Dryopteris 'Filix-Mas' is your go-to choice. It's the charming, easy-going buddy your garden deserves. Let it bring character to your outdoor space.  

Planting Conditions

Planting Dryopteris Filix Mas, the "Male Fern," is a straightforward task. Choose a spot with well-drained soil and partial to full shade, replicating its woodland habitat. This adaptable fern can thrive in various settings, from moist woodlands to shaded corners, making it a versatile choice for your garden. It's a no-fuss plant that withstands temperature fluctuations, proving itself as a resilient and dependable addition to your outdoor space. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this fern is like that friend who effortlessly fits into any social circle. Plant it, water it occasionally, and let it flourish in your garden with a confident energy.

Watering & Feeding

Dryopteris Filix Mas, the "Male Fern," keeps things simple when it comes to watering and feeding. It prefers consistently moist soil but not waterlogged. Water when the topsoil begins to dry. This fern isn't demanding when it comes to feeding; it typically thrives on the nutrients already present in your garden soil. Occasional feeding with a balanced, slow-release fertiliser during the growing season can enhance its vitality, but it's not a necessity. It's the kind of friend who doesn't ask for much, so you can enjoy its robust presence in your garden with minimal effort. Keep it happy, and it'll keep adding that macho charm to your outdoor space.

General Care

Caring for Dryopteris Filix Mas, the "Male Fern," is as easy as a Sunday morning. Plant it in well-drained soil with partial to full shade, replicating its woodland habitat. This adaptable fern requires minimal attention but offers maximum charm. Keep the soil consistently moist, avoiding waterlogged conditions. Dryopteris Filix Mas thrives on the nutrients present in your garden, requiring minimal feeding. With its resilient nature, it can endure temperature fluctuations without a fuss. Just like a reliable friend, this fern adds character to your garden with little maintenance, making it an excellent choice for both seasoned and novice gardeners alike. It's the low-maintenance buddy you can count on.