The Q&A Archives: Resurrection Ferns

Question: I just recently recieved a "resurrection fern", it says it will stay dormant for decades, until u water it and bring it back to life! smells like pine, great for those with a brown thumb.. never seen one, until now.... how do i care for it?

Answer: The Resurrection Fern, Polypodium polypodioides, is quite an interesting plant. In it's native rainforest habitat, when there has been rain, the fronds of this fern unroll, become green, and produce spores. During dry spells, they turn brown and curl up. This plant is a true epiphyte: it grows on trees but takes nothing from them other than support. As long as you keep the plant moist and provide bright light indoors, it will grow. If you hold back on water the plant will appear to die off, but is really only resting, waiting for the next rainy season. It doesn't require regular feeding, because it manages to collect nitrogen from the atmosphere. You should have fun growing this plant with the 'cast iron' constitution!

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