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Korean Rock


Ancient Garden

​​​​​​​​Korean Rock

  • Common name: Korean rock fern
  • Scientific name: Polystichum tsus-simense
  • Family name: Dryopteridaceae
  • Origin: East Asia
  • Height: 1-2 ft
  • Width: 1-2 ft
  • Growth: Moderate
  • Zone: 6-9
  • Light needs: Part sun to full shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers high-moisture, organically rich, well-drained soil. Tolerates a wide pH range (pH 5.5-8.0)
  • Moisture: Needs to be watered regularly to maintain soil moisture.
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests or diseases of major concern.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a humid, shady area, such as under trees. Soil should be kept consistently moist. It does very well in rocky soil, on slopes, and near small bodies of water, but it shouldn’t be planted in a low area, as flooding can harm it. It can also be grown indoors in a pot, where it will need bright, indirect light and maintenance to keep its soil from becoming too dry.
  • Characteristics: This plant has a low mounding growth pattern, with green fronds that cascade over one another. Frond leaflets are pointed with a lacy, serrated edge, and are bright green, in contrast with the dark green veins and stems. Spores are in the sori, which grow in groups of 3-5 on the underside of the leaves.
  • Propagation: By spores or by division
  • Wildlife: Generally, it doesn’t attract deer or other herbivores. Small animals may use it for shade.
  • Facts: In East Asia, this plant grows on rocky slopes near rivers, and is used as a house gift in some cultures. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for its outstanding properties as an ornamental plant.
  • Designer considerations: It is valued mainly for its leaves – the bright green contrasts well with the dark veins and stems, and the texture of the leaves makes it stand out among other plants. It makes for good ground cover in shady areas, especially when placed near plants with less detailed foliage. Planting it near flowering plants is optimal, as the detailed leaves look great next to colorful flowers.