The Q&A Archives: Asplenium Bulbiferum

Question: I planted some mother ferns last summer and we had quite a cold snap this winter. I didn't realize how fragile they were and they've completely died back. Are they an annual in this situation or will they come back in Spring. Also, if I would have covered them up with something, say clear plastic, would that have protected them from from dying? Was it the cold or frost that got them? Thank you so much. Darlene

Answer: Asplenium Bulbiferum is hardy only in zones 9-11, where the lowest temperatures remain above freezing. You might be able to push the limits a bit if you plant in a protected place and mulch over the plant just before your first hard freeze. The easiest way to protect the plants is to place a wire tomato cage over the entire plant and fill it with straw or shredded leaves. Or, you could make cylinders out of chicken wire, large enough to surround the plant, then fill with mulch material. Don't use plastic of any kind - it will only serve to hold in moisture and promote fungal diseases.

Whatever foliage dies back during the winter can be cut off the plant in early spring. The roots should survive and produce new foliage in the spring.

Best wishes with your Mother Ferns!

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