Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)

Ferns are plants that have always attracted a lot of attention. Although their leaves are of a very common color in nature, their bearing and elegance make them plant beings of great ornamental interest. One of them is the royal fern.

Although it can reach a height of up to 160 centimeters, as it does not have invasive roots, it is a very good option to grow both in pots and in a shady corner of the garden.

Origin and characteristics

Image – Flickr/ Ettore Balocchi

The royal fern, whose scientific name is Osmunda regalis, is a deciduous plant native to Europe, Africa, Asia, and America that grows in swamps. It produces sterile fronds (leaves) and other fertile ones separately: the first ones measure 60 to 160cm by 30-40cm wide, they are bipinnate composed of 7-9 pairs of pinnae; the fertile ones are erect, 20 to 50cm tall.

Its growth rate is quite fast. Unfortunately, in the Old Continent it is almost threatened by loss of habitat as a result of drainage of wetlands for agriculture.

There are four varieties:

  • Regalis: grows in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.
  • Panigrahiana: grows in India. It does not resist frost.
  • Brasiliensis: grows in the tropical regions of Central America. It does not resist frost.
  • Spectabilis – grows in eastern North America.

What are their cares?

Image – Wikimedia/ Kristian Peters – Fabelfroh

If you want to have a real fern specimen, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:

  • Location: it must be outside, in semi-shade. It is important that it does not shine in direct sunlight, otherwise it will burn easily.
  • Land:
    • Pot: universal growing substrate.
    • Garden: grows in fertile, moist soils.
  • Irrigation: very frequent. During the warm season we must ensure that the soil does not lose moisture, and in winter we will water 2 or maximum 3 times a week.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer with organic fertilizers, once a month.
  • Multiplication: by spores in spring.
  • Rusticity: depending on the variety, it can resist cold and frost down to -4ºC or, on the contrary, be very cold.

What did you think of the royal fern?

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