The Q&A Archives: Glycyrrhiza

Question: I planted some Glycyrrhiza (licorice) in a window box and it was doing well for the first 2 months, but now it is turning brown and looks sick. I was told it likes partial shade and that is the location its in. Could you give me the cultural information on this plant?

Answer: Polypodium glycyrrhiza is the licorice fern. Its native to the coastal strip from Alaska to California. In the wild, these ferns tend to grow on rocks or dead logs. In the garden give them leaf mold or compost for soil and keep them in a shady location. You might try putting your plant in complete shade and misting the leaves (ferny fronds) periodically to imitate the coastal fog it thrives on. Cut back the dead fronds and wait for new growth to appear. The licorice fern will be an annual plant in your area of the country.

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