Fern-in the garden and indoors
Ferns are some of the most beautiful plants in woodland, but they can grow equally well in your garden or even at home. “Fern” refers to about 12,000 species of plants that reproduce by spores without producing flowers or seeds. Not all 12,000 fern plants are suitable as garden plants, but the selection is still quite large.
Fern has existed for more than 300 million years.
Many ferns are easily recognizable due to their leaves or lace-like leaves. However, there are many varieties of ferns grown in different habitats, and their leaves can range from less than an inch to over 12 feet in size.
In order to successfully grow ferns growing in your garden or indoors, you need to know about the variety of ferns you have and their tastes. Here’s how to grow and care for a widespread fern variety.
Sun exposure to ferns
Most ferns prefer shady locations, but do not do well in deep shades. The dark shade provided by the twigs is a better option. Think about how they grow in the forest and look for similar conditions in your yard.
Ferns can handle direct sunlight directly, but the more sun, the more moisture they need. Some ferns will tolerate dry, hot and sunny places.
Fern growing from spores
Ferns do not produce seeds and grow from spores. Spores look like small dots on the underside of the leaf. Fern plants can drop millions of spores to the ground, but only a few who find ideal conditions will grow. If you want to grow ferns from spores, they can be collected and planted like seeds.
Wait for them to darken to collect high sandpaper spores, then let the leaves fall off, letting them know that they are ripe. An easy way to do this is to cut the front where the spores begin to darken in color. Put the front on an open paper bag or piece of paper (indoors where the spores do not fly) and wait for the spores to fall off. You want them to be fully mature and fall alone.
Planting ferns from spores
- Fern spores are very small and can be difficult to work with. Store them in paper or paper bags until you are ready to plant them.
- Fill a flat container or other container with a sterile, damp potting mix . The spores are in good contact with the soil by gently shaking them on top of the mix directly from the paper or bag.
- Push the surface of the potting mixture to wet the spores and keep them in place.
- Cover the container with plastic and place it in a tray containing 1 to 2 inches of water. Go to a warm place with indirect sunlight.
- Keep changing the water in the tray until you see signs of growth. This can take 6-12 weeks, so be patient and don’t let the soil dry.
- The first thing you’ll see is a small heart-shaped photo called prothalli. These can be gently lifted from the container and transferred to individual pots filled with a moist, sterile potting mixture.
- The transplanted organs are shaken and moistened.
- When protali begins to develop leaves, it hardens slowly and can be transplanted outdoors.
Planting ferns from Stolons
You can see something like a long downy string growing on your fern. These are stolons or runners, and you can spread more ferns by layering them in the soil .
Secure the theft to nearby soil with U-shaped landscape staples or small rocks. Keep it moist and within a few weeks the stolon should take root and send new growths. If that happens, cut the thief at the mother’s factory. At this point, a new plant can be transplanted.
Indoor fern growth
Fern plants make beautiful houseplants, but the humidity at home is too low for some ferns to thrive. This is especially true in winter when the heat is on. Misting the plant will help keep the container in a tray full of gravel and keep enough humidity to reach the bottom of the fern pot .
The ferns that can better handle low humidity include:
- Bird’s Nest Fern ( Asplenium )
- Boston Fern ( Nephrolepis )
- Button Fun ( Pellaea )
- Rabbit footprint ( Davallia )
- Holly Fern ( Cyrtomium )
- Bat Fern ( Platycerium )
- Sword Fern ( Polystichum munitum )
( Additional tips on how to grow and care for indoor ferns .)
Dividing the fern
Fern plants, like other perennial plants, are divided a lot .
- The best time to divide ferns is when they begin in early spring and resume growth.
- Make sure that the fern plant is well watered the day before or at least a few hours before it divides.
- Pick up the fern and chop or cut the root balls into 2-3 pieces, depending on the size of the existing plant. Each piece should have at least 1 growth tip where the leaves are sprouting.
- Transplant the water well as soon as possible. Moisten new organ transplants until new growth appears.
Caring for ferns
Watering : Fern plants prefer moist locations, but can handle short drying periods. It slows down and may turn a little brown, but it should come back after the dry spelling is over.
Mulching: The best mulch for ferns is leaf-like or finely shredded leaves. This helps them mimic the conditions they will grow on the forest floor and retain the moisture they need. Add new mulch every spring.
Weeds: Ferns tend to have shallow roots. Farm around them especially in the spring when small fiddleheads first come to mind.
Feeding: Most ferns do not need supplemental fertilizers. It is enough to add a little compost to the original planting hole and follow the side dressing of the leaf insole .
Winter care: do not cut ferns in the fall. Leave the leaves as protection for the plant’s crown. You can clean old, dead leaves when fiddleheads appear in early spring.