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DRYOPTERIS filix-mas 'Undulata Robusta'

  • Planting

    1. Dig holes or beds wide, not deep
    2. Amend heavy clay or sandy soils with organic matter
    3. Gently remove plants from containers, keeping the rhizomes intact
    4. Loosen potting soil and roots around bottom and edges of rhizomes
    5. Plant level with surrounding soil, spreading rhizomes outward
    6. Fill around roots with lightly amended native soil
    7. Water to settle soil around roots
    8. Cover the area lightly with leaf or bark mulch without completely smothering rhizomes
    9. Water deeply

  • Watering

    1. Fast-growing herbaceous plants require more attention to watering than woody plants
    2. When possible, water in the morning to avoid promoting diseases from night watering
    3. Water slowly and deeply when plants begin to wilt and do not perk up at night
    4. Watering twice, a few minutes apart, helps water soak in deeper
    5. Soaker hoses and trickle or "drip" irrigation are very efficient and water-conservative
    6. Never overwater, or you may cause root problems
    7. Mulches help reduce water evaporation in hot or dry weather
    8. In dry climates, form a soil "ring" around plants to hold water longer

  • Pruning

    1. Remove faded, dead or diseased fronds as needed
    2. Clean up dormant fronds to reduce overwintering pest problems
    3. Remove a few fronds when dividing or transplanting to reduce stress on new root growth

  • Propagation

    1. Ferns are easily divided by digging and replanting pieces of individual plants, each with a bit of rhizome
    2. Spores from the undersides of fern fronds can be sown onto moist potting soil in light shade and high humidity to grow into new plants. This can even happen on moist brick, wood, or shingle roofs.

  • Fertilization

    Most plants need a regular "diet" of all-purpose plant food, either specialty (labeled for your specific plant type) or a generic N-P-K (nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium)

    Fertilize early in the plant's growing cycle - spring for summer plants, fall for winter plants

    • For leafy plants, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content (first number)
    • For flowering or fruiting plants, use a fertilizer higher in phosphorous content (middle number)

    If using a water soluble fertilizer:

    1. Mix as directed on container according to directions
    2. Wet the leaves and drench soil
    3. Repeat

    If using a granulated fertilizer:

    1. Scatter a small amount of all-purpose fertilizer lightly under plants from the stem to beyond the outer spread of branches or foliage
    2. Water slowly and deeply

    NOTE: Never over fertilize! You will see lots of weak, leafy growth and few flowers