Rock Cap Fern (Polypodium virginanum) is a beautiful plant that provides greenery throughout the year with its evergreen leaves.
The fern can be found in shaded cliffs and sandstone ravines, rocky wooded bluffs, mossy boulders, and ragged stream edges. The fern can grow in a variety of soils however it prefers a humid and moist environment. Ecological factors that are greatest for the fern are a moist, shaded and protected area. It grows best in a medium to the light shaded area with rocky soil or a rock formation covered in moss or organic remains and dirt containing an acid pH. A sheltered area with protection from the wind is another preference for the bush. The Rock Cap Fern does not cultivate well on the ground unless in the thin and rocky soil. Mature height can be a maximum 8 inches for height and 12 inches in width. Growing speed can range from 1 to 2 years depending on location and environmental factors. The Rock Cap Fern features lobes that are straight and climbing in the perfect atmosphere, or that can be found bowing in a dry climate. The lobes range between 4 to 12 inches in length. Leaves are oblong with 10 to 20 pairs along each vein. The sections are shaped like a spear with large centers and pointy tips and toothed edges and a smooth texture. Colors shown vary from yellowish green to dark green on the upper blades to light green on the lower leaves.
Rock Cap Ferns can be used in a diversity of landscaping concepts.
One concept is applying the fern as companion vegetation for contextual color in a flower garden. Another idea is to use the plant as a filler for empty spaces or as a ground cover. Additional landscape designs entail border plants and lining pathways.
As the name implies, the Rock Cap Polypody Fern, Polypodium Virginian is most often found growing atop rocks and tree roots in shady woodland and is commonly referred to by alternate names such as Common Polypody, Virginiana Polypody, and American Wall Fern. Native to the Northeastern U.S. and Canada and Eastern Asia, this fern is ideal for zones 3-8, where it is often recommended as an easy-to-grow plant. As an evergreen perennial, it will bring consistent richness to the shaded nooks of any garden, delighting viewers with its petal-shaped, vibrant green lobes, often tipped with paler green or hints of red. Fern enthusiasts will note the asymmetric lobe pattern and the triangular flap at the tip of each frond, as well as its graceful cascading tendency. With fronds ranging from 6 to 12 inches in length and a clumping habit, the Rock Cap Polypody Fern can quickly fill in gaps beneath spreading trees or otherwise unsightly corners.
Rock Cap Fern is best planted among mossy rocks or fallen rotting wood and will enhance any woodland display or rock garden.
This fern prefers thin, well-drained soil ranging from neutral to acidic, and is extremely drought tolerant, making it an excellent choice for areas with hot, dry summers, while its evergreen hardiness will ensure color through the winter months. Like many ferns, the Rock Cap Polypody reproduces by dust-sized spores rather than seeds, which are distributed by gentle winds. Gardeners in more rural areas should note that these ferns are favorite winter food for deer and wild turkeys (though not rabbits), and plan their placement accordingly. Excess moisture or poor drainage may make it difficult to establish initially, but once adapted the Rock Cap Polypody Fern will spread into large colonies that will provide a cascade of year-round color for minimal maintenance.
Rock Cap Fern Ships as Bare Root