Much like other ferns, the royal fern has long spindly branches with alternating green leaves growing up each side. These branches tend to grow in bunches that expand as the rhizomes below make their way through the soil.
Although it is quite large and beautiful, this fern is one of the slowest to reproduce. Its rhizomes will leisurely creep through your garden and pop up new offshoots as it pleases, a very fitting personality trait for a royal plant.
You can speed up growth by planting this fern in acidic soil as it tends to grow much more slowly in an alkaline or neutral PH. Picking a spot with high moisture retention will also ensure that your royal fern will stay happy and healthy. This species will do well in both sand and clay as long as the PH and moisture content are sufficient. In the wild, you might find this variety in a woodland bog or at the edge of a stream.
You can enjoy the royal nature of this beautiful specimen in zones 3-10. This makes it a highly versatile option for almost any garden in North America. Because of the moisture requirements, this fern makes an excellent leafy green accent on the North side of your home, under a shade tree, or any other shady location on your property. You should give these plants about 18 inches of space to spread their lovely branches.