Ferns forum: Multiplying Ferns

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 15, 2014 5:15 PM CST
I would like to encourage the ferns I have outdoors to spread, and I would even nurse baby ferns indoors under lights if that's what it takes.

Can roots under old clumps be divided, or would that kill them?

Does propagating from spores require sterile conditions?

Is there any easy way, even if it takes a few years?

I have a few clumps of "wild" ferns outdoors - by which I mean they were in my yard when I moved in, and I don't really care for them except to give them more water than the rest of the yard when there is NO rain.

A few new clumps have appeared where the soil is moister than other spots, for example in the bottom of a drainage trench I cut. It is "dry" all summer, but being cut 3-4 inches below grade, it probably has moister clay then the rest of the yard. Or maybe it is just "disturbed soil".

They seem to flourish where shade meets sun ... or maybe they actually need sun and they just grow where is some sun and not much competition!

My biggest and oldest clump has inter-grown with a big azalea, and I figure I have to trim the azalea back. Is there any way to encourage that clump to spread in a direction away from the azalea?

That clump always has many tough, brown, leathery fern fronds around the bottom, but the tops seem pretty healthy. It has not expanded in 4-5 years that I can detect.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 16, 2014 12:05 PM CST
Rick, I see no reason why clumps couldn't be divided as long as they have roots attached; I've done it with the horrid southern sword fern (years ago before I realized they were invasive here) but I haven't tried it with other types. I say go for it! As to propagating from spores ... with my short attention span, I've never even thought to try that.

I wonder if the one growing in with the azalea is perhaps stunted by the azalea roots? It must like that location if it seems happy there, maybe you could divide the clump and plant some divisions in the direction you want?

Hopefully we have some knowledgeable fern growers here who will pop in with some tips.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 16, 2014 2:50 PM CST
I knew they were competing for above-ground space, but I bet you're right and the root6s are fighting it out underground. I hate to divide that until I'm confident of my fern-dividing skills. It's the most successful clump I have.

I would rather lift or divide some small fern clumps that popped up where a compost heap used to be. I'll probably practice on a small clump after reading and thinking for a year or so.

I should have taken photos before starting the thread, but "I'll get around to those" soon!.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Sep 26, 2014 2:41 PM CST
I've divided ferns just like any other plant - dig, split, re-plant. I did this in the fall, which works best for me in general. When actually relocating a fern, seems usually something I left behind continues to grow and I then have a 'bonus' fern.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Sep 26, 2014 2:58 PM CST
I agree Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 26, 2014 4:12 PM CST
Maybe I'll look for a smaller clump where I don't mind if I kill the main clump, and practice on it.

If I get really brave, I'll split the big old one and just hope it does come back in the original location.

Thanks!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Sep 26, 2014 4:21 PM CST
It is really easy and really safe to divide ferns. Don't worry, you won't harm the plant. You'll just have more of them. Just be sure to plant them at the same depth as they were in the original basket/pot.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 26, 2014 5:15 PM CST
Now I'm feeling brave.

This certainly is the drizzly, cloudy, cool rainy season for pampering them.

I'll let you know if I stay brave and don;t get lazy this weekend!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Sep 26, 2014 5:50 PM CST
There you go, Rick. You're the man! Hurray! Nothing ventured - nothing gained. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Sep 26, 2014 6:13 PM CST
Baby steps ... take a small division and see how it goes.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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