Any experience with Korean Rock Fern?

GardeningGGirl(7b)October 3, 2005

Does anyone have experience with Korean Rock Fern. I've had some for several years. I thought that the first place I had it wasn't shady enough. Nevertheless, I left it there a couple of years. :( It didn't thrive to say the least. In the spring I moved it to a more shady area, although it still get some very filtered sun during the day. It still has not shown much improvement. Any suggestions?

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I have had no success growing Korean Rock Ferns in my garden. Have tried planting among rocks(granite) and in raised beds. Culture requirements for this fern is decidedly geograpically sensitive. In Zone 7 it is recommended that it have full to partial shade(early morning or late afternoon sun), constantly moist and well drained, humusy soil. Some say it can tolerate drought conditions, once well established(2-3 years). None of that worked for me. I once read a post on the San Diego Fern Society Forum that stated they required an alkaline growing medium, either by planting among limestone rocks or adding dolomitic lime. Another source suggested that they must be grown in a cool climate. I have lost interest in this particular species and grow more than 100 other fern species and cultivars that are less demanding.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 4:02PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I also had one for years that did nothing besides cling to life. I lifted it and divided and moved it a couple of years ago, and it suddenly just started growing like gangbusters (well, the half I kept did - the half I gave away died!). I have been scratching my head for some time wondering what I did right. The new area is a bit shadier but I think more to the point it is dryer, and catches a fair bit of debris from the neighbour's cypress tree, so I'm guessing the soil is also more acidic and humus-ier (is that a word??). The previous location was sheltered from the tree's debris by my front steps.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 4:06PM
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Well, I'm at least glad to know that I'm not the only one who has struggled with this. Thanks for your replies.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 5:19PM
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Like the others my first try died. ? I planted another again, in exactly the same spot and it has thrived. 50% shade, average water, no special soil or fertiliser except I probably put a little ironite on it in the spring. It IS slow growing, but seems pretty tough when established.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 4:26PM
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They thrive under my redwood trees, alkaline soil and with heavy root competition. One of my most successful ferns. Go figure.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 5:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, I put one under a redwood tree just about a month and a half ago. I thought I'd planted it a bit late, but the fern seems fine (thankfully, the weather has co-operated, despite three days of 100°F heat!). The redwood's lower branches keep the sun from directly cooking the fern --- I assume that the fern will grow towards the conditions it prefers, whether more sun or less. I'll take my cue from there.

If this one does well, I'll probably put two more in the same location, as they don't seem to spread into an area very fast (being clumpers).

I purchased an Alaskan Fern on the same day as the rock fern and it, too, is growing wonderfully.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:16PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey all, hope you don't mind me double-posting a follow-up with pics: here's my Korean fern, and a shot of the fern in location beneath a redwood tree. It still seems to be doing quite well, though we haven't gotten into the real summer heat yet...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 4:00PM
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WOW! That is an impressive looking fern. Mine are living and they look okay, but they don't seem to be getting any larger. I have two. I would love to have one more but I haven't seen them in any nurseries in a while. And these don't look like they are going to be ready for division anytime soon. Oh well.

Thanks for the photos.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:24AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks! It's a pleasure to share photos of my yard.

Ferns are mostly a spring-time thing (as you know), so you'll probably have to wait until next year's big nursery shipments. Of course, if you find some now, you can always keep them in their containers until they're ready for planting in the spring.

Also, your ferns will most likely be divisible by next spring.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:32PM
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If you notice, my first post on this subject was in 2005. I haven't seen any in nurseries since then. Nor have mine grown much. The ones I have are pretty. But I don't hold out much hope for ever dividing them. One of these days I'm sure I'll run across one somewhere.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:39AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You haven't seen any since 2005?! Wow! That's awful!
You're in the right zone for them, too.

Mine's only been in the ground for about a month and a half now, so I have
yet to see what it does during our winter.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:50PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Well, I just picked some up at a Lowe's in 7B Georgia, because they're so pretty, and just searched and found this thread. I guess for $2 each I'll go ahead and give them a try. I just need to tuck them into alkaline soil under a redwood....or something. :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 3:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mine's still in the same spot, but every Spring the first fronds get blasted by frost...
It's really quite a pain. I'm considering a few other ferns to add to the planting.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:22PM
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