Blechnum chilense is probably the most essential fern you can grow in your garden. In my opinion Blechnum chilense, sometimes known as the Chilean Hard Fern due to it’s robust crinkly edged fronds is one of the most spectacular evergreen ferns suitable for U.K. gardens. When I first grew Blechnum chilense in my own garden here in West Sussex it was from a plant bought whilst visiting gardens in Cornwall so it was given a very sheltered position and protected during the winter. The Blechnum responded by growing rapidly reaching 1.50m high in just a few years, the clump spread too and is now over 2m across (despite regular division). My fears of it being tender were quickly proven wrong as it has breezed through some really chilly winters only suffering damage by the weight of snow bearing down on it’s fronds.
Each spring I prune away any damaged or dead fronds leaving the plant looking like a collection of mini tree ferns ready to burst into growth. As with all ferns Blechnum chilense enjoys fertile moisture retentive soil that is not waterlogged. It will respond quickly to additional fertilty by pruducing large fronds up to a metre long. I mulch each autumn with composted horse manure and, if I remember a generous topdressing of pelleted poulty manure in spring. Blechnum chilense can also be grown in a container to dramatic effect as long as you remember regular watering and feeding, we use seaweed extract for all our container ferns, they love it.
- Common Names:Chilean Hard Fern.