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Planting Instructions for Polystichum (Christmas fern, tassel fern, shield fern):

Light:  Part shade to full shade Moisture:  Average to moist in summer, dry in winter
Soil:  Humus-rich, moist but well-drained, woodland type soil pH:  Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (depending on variety)
Planting Depth:  Top of crown at soil level, mulch lightly Spacing:  15 to 18"

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Polystichum should be just slightly damp but not wet when dormant. Plant everything within two or three days.

Soil/Location:  Plant your ferns in part shade to full shade in loose and airy, humus-rich, moist but well-draining soil. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil, if needed. Avoid areas with intense heat or strong winds and avoid areas with poor drainage or spots that hold moisture in winter.

Moisture:  Polystichum prefers slightly moist soil in the summer and relatively dry conditions in winter.

Spacing:  15 to 18"

Depth:  Plant your ferns with the top of the crown at soil level. After planting mulch lightly to keep them cool in the summer and prevent heaving in the winter.

General Instructions:  Enrich your garden with generous amounts of compost or peat humus to improve and loosen the soil. Ferns generally do not need fertilizer and most are fertilizer and chemical sensitive. Plant the roots at the depth listed, then water in once. Your Polystichum will start sprouting as soon as the soil warms and generally won't need any extra water while dormant. Once they have sprouted they enjoy being watered a couple times a week, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering.

Landscape Uses:  These ferns are slow clumping so work best in groups and make wonderful accents in the shade garden. Plant them with hostas, astilbe, bleeding hearts, foam flowers (Tiarella), lungworts (Pulmonaria), Carex, Hakone grass, and Tricyrtis. The Christmas fern gets its name because the evergreen fronds have been used in winter floral arrangements. Plant the soft shield fern close to the border or pathway to best enjoy its fine, delicate details.

Hallson Gardens
PO Box 220
Brooklyn, MI 49230

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