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Santa Monica, CA
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Question by DNLPARR
November 8, 1999
Where can I find Plumosa ferns? What kind of environment do they do well in?

Answer from NGA
November 8, 1999
Ferns are among the world's oldest living plants and lower on the evolutionary scale than seed plants. Some common fern types are boston, maidenhair, staghorn, rabbits-foot, and pteris. Plants in the genus Asparagus such as A. plumosa and A. sprengeri are called ferns, but are not true ferns since they produce seeds and not spores.

Both A. plumosa and A. sprengeri are easily grown from seed.

Ferns grow best in a predominately organic potting medium similar to soils in their natural habitats. Good growth can be obtained in 100% peat moss or in combinations of 75% peat moss and 25% sand as long as drainage is rapid.
Any container with good drainage is satisfactory but the growing media should be kept moist at all times. However, do not allow water to stand in pots since roots may be damaged.

Good fern growth occurs at normal home temperatures of 70 to 80?F but most ferns outdoors will be injured by freezing temperatures.

Most ferns are grown in partial shade outdoors. In the home plants should receive as much light as possible without being placed in direct sunlight or normal light may be supplemented with artificial light.

You can start new plants from seeds, or because these are popular houseplants, you can purchase small plants from garden centers or local florists.

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