Polystichum setiferum 'PLUMOSUM'

Polystichum setiferum
Polystichum setiferum 'PLUMOSUM'
soft shield fern
SIZE/TYPE low perennial
USUAL WIDTH 0.5-0.8m
LEAVES semi-deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:light green and green
LOCATION semi-shade to shade
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty) to neutral
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 5b   (down to -27°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
Evergreen broadleaf
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Soft shield fern, aka bristle fern, is our European fern species and comes from the south and west of the continent. It loves the humidity of the British Isles and the mild winters of southwestern Europe. In Mediterranean Europe (from France to Turkey) it seeks higher elevations where it is not bothered by the drying hot sun and where there is enough moisture in the soil. When you look at the botanical species, its appearance exactly fulfils our expectations of a typical European fern – erect, symmetrical, deep green fronds. Under ideal conditions it spreads by rhizomes forming thick colonies.

Plumosum is a lush, fine-textured, and dense, bi-pinnate soft shield fern variety. It produces 30-50 cm long fronds composed of small, delicately incised, bright green, slightly overlapping leaves which are composed along short stalks and those are arranged along strong stems (= bipinnate). The plants are dense and despite their fluffy look they are quite sturdy. The fronds are mostly laid almost horizontally, only a few of the newest in the middle of the clump are upright. Use it in a dark corner which will be lit up by its soft green colour, or to soften any sharp edges.

Soft shield fern requires partial shade or shade and fertile, preferably acidic to neutral soil. It loves moisture but needs a good drainage so that it does not rot in winter. It responds well to fertilizing, and the more nutrients you provide, the lusher the foliage. Its leaves remain evergreen and handsome to about -15 °C, and only at lower temperatures do wither and the whole clump goes dormant. In spring remove all foliage and wait for emerging new leaves in mid spring. Hardy to about -27 °C (USDA zone 5b).

Last update: 23-04-2023

Polystichum setiferum
Polystichum setiferum
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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