Ferns are a delight for any garden that can provide their basic requirements. They fill that space that few other plants will thrive in and at the same time bring colour and form to please. Dryopteris cristata the King is native to much of Europe, Asia and North America. A very popular and widely planted fern and one that has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Each new frond appears from the ground curled up and then slowly unfurls to reveal the bright golden green arching fronds with crests at the apex and the ends of the pinnae. Retains a bright, fresh appearance all summer.Â Dryopteris prefer a rich, always moist, even wet, soil, with plenty of organic matter, in a shady or heavy shade location, however it is tolerant of dry, part sunny and even lime once established. Out of interest, the ancient common name 'Worm Fern' was given to the plant as it was used to treat people with intestinal worms. This must have been a rather risky treatment as the infusion from these plants is quite toxic. A very good reason not to try it yourself! Ferns can be grown very successfully in pots and containers as long as you can reproduce the basic requirements, and especially the need for constant moisture. Use a good quality compost. Be very careful with cheap peat free composts that often dry out very quickly. Ferns generally require a constant feed of nutrients so please ensure you feed regularly as a hungry plant is a poor performer. We recommend Osmoscote pro 12-14 month applied in the early spring as growth begins. One application gives all the nutrients the plant requires.