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Gardening Help Search. Select a houseplant that roots easily, such as, a begonia that has become tall and leggy. Because there are already some small shoots at the base of this plant, it is also an excellent candidate for cutting back to get the plant bushy again. Many indoor houseplants, such as, begonias, coleus, polka-dot-plant, ivies and philodendrons root easily in water. Other plants, including many woody plants such as hibiscus and citrus will not root well in water.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Driftwood Garden - Fern Propagation - Latest Homes LiveContent:
- How to grow ferns
- How To Grow And Forage For Lady Fern
- How to Grow Ferns from Spores
- Guide to Pruning & Shaping Your Plants
- Can I Grow Ferns in Water Only?
- How to Grow and Care for Maidenhair Ferns as House Plants
- Can you propagate a fern?
- Button Fern House Plant
- How to propagate plant cuttings in water
How to grow ferns
Make a donation. Providing form and texture, ferns are easy to grow and make ideal foliage plants for a shady spot. Their unfurling new growth can be delicate and feathery or large and lush, ensuring there are ferns to suit every style and size of garden.
Ferns are an ancient type of plant, dating back more than million years. They don't produce flowers or seeds, but spores instead. They are prized for their attractive leaves, or fronds, which typically unfurl from crosiers tightly coiled buds in the centre of the plant. Ferns are perennials, meaning they live for several years, some dying down in winter deciduous , while others keep their foliage all year evergreen. In the wild, ferns grow in a range of habitats, from woodland to dry rock crevices or swamps, but most ferns available to gardeners tend to like shade.
Hardy ferns can be kept outdoors all year round in the UK and need no additional frost protection. There are also some half-hardy ferns that can be grown outdoors in mild areas in the south and west of the UK, or in other sheltered spots if given protection over winter.
Ferns come in many shapes, sizes, textures and colours. Most are woodland plants that like shady conditions and rich soil, full of organic matter. Ferns are available all year round in containers. You can buy a wide range in garden centres, online or from specialist nurseries.
Ferns are best planted in spring or autumn, as this gives them time to settle in before any extremes of hot or cold weather. Most ferns are woodland plants that like light or dappled shade. They can usually tolerate some sun, as long as they have plenty of moisture.
Ferns like soil that is rich in organic matter , such as garden compost or leafmould. They usually prefer plenty of moisture, but not waterlogging, although certain types will tolerate either very wet or dry soil.
Ferns can also be grown in large containers. Most of the ferns readily available to gardeners are hardy, which means they will survive cold winters outdoors check plant labels before buying. However, you may find some half-hardy or tender ferns on sale.
These need to be kept frost-free over winter, so are best planted in containers that can be moved indoors. Tree ferns are not fully hardy, so give them a warm, sheltered spot. Larger specimens, with the growing point higher off the ground, may survive outside over winter if protected with straw or fleece, especially in milder parts of the UK. Dig in plenty of organic matter such as garden compost or leafmould to improve the soil structure and hold in moisture.
This is particularly important when planting under trees , where the soil can be poor and dry. Ferns are easy to plant and should settle in quickly. You can also plant ferns in large containers, either singly or with other shade-loving plants. Ideally use a mix of three parts peat-free multipurpose compost, one part John Innes No. Water newly planted ferns regularly for at least their first year.
After that, most will only need extra water during long dry spells. Be sure to direct the water to the roots and not onto the fronds or crown, as this can encourage rot.
Ferns in containers should be watered regularly during the growing season aiming to keep the compost moist but not soggy, and especially in hot weather. Tree ferns need damp conditions and will not survive drying out, so spray the trunk with water regularly, especially during hot or dry spells.
Most ferns planted in the open garden need no additional feeding, but if soil conditions are particularly poor, you could add a well-balanced fertiliser, such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone, in spring.Apply a mulch of garden compost or well-rotted manure to the soil surface annually in spring, to enrich the soil. Ferns in containers should be given a general fertiliser, such Miracle-Gro, during the growing season. Tree ferns will benefit from a liquid feed applied monthly to the trunk, in spring and early summer, or a controlled-release fertiliser scattered around the base in spring.
Most ferns form quite a dense clump, which hinders weed growth. Mulching around the base with garden compost in spring will help to deter the germination of annual weeds. After removing the old tattered fronds, chop them up and add them to your compost bin. You can then use the resulting compost as a mulch around your ferns. The easiest way to propagate ferns is by division. There are two main methods, depending on how the fern grows. These ferns produce horizontal stems rhizomes , which often resemble roots, just below or on the soil surface, as a natural way of spreading.
Mature ferns may naturally develop additional crowns, or rosettes, although this can take up to ten years. Other ferns may look as if they have several crowns, but are in fact a clump of different plants, potted up together by the nursery. In both cases, you can split the crowns apart in spring, using two back-to-back forks, and pot up or replant them individually. A few ferns, such as some types of soft shield fern Polystichum setiferum , develop small bulbils mini-bulbs along the midrib of the frond.
If you peg the frond down onto the soil, the bulbils will root and can then be detached and transplanted into pots. Propagating ferns by spores is a slow and rather tricky process, but makes an interesting challenge for experienced gardeners. The majority of ferns produce their spores in small heaps or lines on the undersides of mature fronds. The spore heaps sori are pale green when unripe and usually turn dark brown or black when ripe.
If they are a pale rusty brown, the spores have probably already fallen. Spores ripen in sequence along the frond from tip to stem , so you will usually find both ripe and unripe spores on a single frond, especially in mid- to late summer.
To collect spores, place a small piece of spore-bearing frond in a dry paper envelope and keep for a day or so in a warm, dry place. Any ripe spores will fall to the bottom of the envelope, resembling brown, yellow or black powder.
The fronds may turn brown, especially at the tips, in overly dry conditions. In waterlogged soil or overcrowded conditions, ferns may be susceptible to rotting. Tree ferns , and others that are not fully hardy such as the ferns featured in our section on tender ferns for growing outdoors , need protection over winter. Tree ferns also need regular watering during dry weather in spring and summer. There are only a few pests that affect ferns.
Slugs and snails may eat the delicate young fronds, while ferns in containers may be attacked by vine weevils. Take action Why take action? Support us Donate Careers Commercial opportunities Leave a legacy. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work Join now.
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Meet the team. Shop plants rhsplants. Shopping with the RHS. RHS Christmas gifts. Help us achieve our goals Make a donation. Join the RHS today and support our charity Join now. Save to My scrapbook. Quick facts. Easy to grow and maintain Plants last for many years Ferns like shade and soil improved with organic matter Many are evergreen Plant in autumn or spring for best establishment Cut back deciduous types in winter before new spring growth starts Make new plants by dividing established plants or by growing from spores.
All you need to know. What are ferns? Choosing ferns Ferns come in many shapes, sizes, textures and colours.
How and what to buy Ferns are available all year round in containers. When to plant Ferns are best planted in spring or autumn, as this gives them time to settle in before any extremes of hot or cold weather. Where to plant Most ferns are woodland plants that like light or dappled shade. Watering Water newly planted ferns regularly for at least their first year.
Those in very dry soil beneath trees may also benefit from additional watering in summer. Simply snip off any dead or ragged fronds before the new crosiers leaf buds start to unfurl in spring. Cut them off at the base with secateurs or snips, taking care not to damage any newly developing fronds. Clear away the debris to encourage good air circulation. Compost the old fronds After removing the old tattered fronds, chop them up and add them to your compost bin.
How To Grow And Forage For Lady Fern
At , million years old, they were, indeed, among the dominant plant species when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. And as many as 15, species now call our planet home. We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. But we know there are more than enough for you to choose from to include in both your landscape and inside your home, as these green beauties are versatile additions to either place. They reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers, and are distinguished from other spore-bearing plants, such as moss, by the fact that they have true roots, stems, and complex leaves. A spore is a reproductive cell that can develop into a new individual without joining with another reproductive cell.
Propagation. The best way to propagate ferns is through division. It is best to do this during the growing season (March through September).
How to Grow Ferns from Spores
Few things can bring such a tropical paradise and bohemian vibe to a room than a Staghorn fern, one of my favorite, favorite plants! Not to mention it is so easy to care for, and easy to propagate — a skill you will need. When friends see how gorgeous your Staghorn fern looks, they are going to want one! Staghorn ferns Platyceriums got their names because of the dramatic fronds shaped like animal horns. They are epiphytes , which means they grow harmlessly upon another plant such as a tree and derives moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and debris accumulating around it. All we need to do is to mimic their natural habitat , and they will happily settle into our homes. Mature plants in a tropical climate can reach a majestic pounds.
Guide to Pruning & Shaping Your Plants
As long as the environment is ideal with pleasant temperature, humidity, and bright, indirect sunlight, the fern will thrive. Most likely, this growth is aerial roots or stolons, both of which are harmless and useful for propagation. On vines, aerial roots can help secure the plant onto a wall, rock, or any other surface it is next to. Plants that grow in bogs cannot get gasses from the air, which is why they require these aerial roots to absorb air. For indoor plants, aerial roots do not absorb moisture and nutrients the same way outdoor plants do.
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Can I Grow Ferns in Water Only?
Hardy only in USDA zones 10 through 12, the plant generally grows in containers elsewhere. Boston fern care outdoors is easy, as proved by the luxuriant specimens suspended under porch roofs in hanging baskets every summer. However, Boston fern care indoors—in low-humidity air-conditioned or heated homes—can prove challenging. Despite its associations with New England, the Boston fern originated from a tropical plant, Nephrolepis exaltata , which is native to Florida, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. Care for Boston fern will require that you care enough about yours to make extra efforts to keep it happy over the winter. Otherwise, it might be best to treat it as an annual.
How to Grow and Care for Maidenhair Ferns as House Plants
This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. I never really believed propagating worked unless you had a massive greenhouse or fancy chemicals, but it turns out any idiot with some scissors and an old sweet chilli sauce jar can do it. Let me show you how:. Take a cutting of your plant. Some have nodes, so make sure your cutting includes that, some just require you to cut off a leaf, and some produce pups all by themselves. Put your cutting in a receptacle filled with water room temperature rainwater is the best, but water straight from the tap will absolutely work. The rest is just a waiting and changing the water game.
Plus, we've added tips for growing ferns indoors at the bottom to make sure you're growing confidently. Show us your gorgeous indoor ferns by tagging us (@.
Can you propagate a fern?
Fern-flanked porches are a staple of the Southern landscape. Given the proper care, f erns are surprisingly easy to care for and grow. Boston Ferns and Kimberly Queen Ferns are the most popular selections for porches.
Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. The Silver Lady Fern is an extremely attractive rosette fern with a neat but lush look. It immediately conjures up images of rainforests and waterfalls. Adjust watering to suit the season. This is easy, in the warmer months it tends to put on growth and needs more water. Water so that the potting mix never dries out, aim for a nice even moistness.
Provide fertile, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter and fertilize monthly with a balanced, liquid or water soluble fertilizer during the growing season.If you are looking to incorporate beautiful, year round greenery into your home, read on for a complete rundown on how to care for this gorgeous fern.
Button Fern House Plant
There are many tropical ferns that you can grow in your home. Each one adds a beautiful display of foliage to your houseplant collection. With proper care, a fern is an easy-to-grow houseplant. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Home Yard and garden Find plants Houseplants Tropical ferns. Quick facts Tropical ferns grow best indoors in medium light such as in an east-facing window or a few feet from a west or south-facing window.
How to propagate plant cuttings in water
As Pacific Northwesterners, we have a soft spot in our hearts for ferns. One of the best things about ferns is the variety of species there are in the genus. You can choose from tropic or sub-tropic types as well as those that grow in more temperate climates—there is a fern for any kind of home! Ferns can be easy and low-maintenance houseplants once you make sure you are following these 3 key practices for their care:.