Polypodium polypodioides resurection fern, how to grow indoors?

tmoore2(6/7 MD)March 22, 2007

how do i grow Polypodium polypodioides resurection fern as a houseplant? does it have to be in a terrarium? can i hang it or should it be in a pot with some type of medium? do it's roots need access to air?

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To begin I would recommend that you try to grow it in a clay pot. You should use a gritty soil, not cactus mix as that has sphagnum in it (or at least the ones I checked out did). Something like a small grade of granitic gravel. What I generally do is find a bag of this type of gravel from a home improvement center as it is used in making concrete. Then sieve it down to get the finer gravel. Put coarser gravel in the bottom of the pot.
While I think it will do well with just gravel you may want to add some soil to it. Unfortunately the only stuff I would even consider is African violet planting mix and that again has sphagnum in it. If you use something like this then 1 part soil to 2 or 3 parts gravel. Instead of the soil mix perhaps some humus might be ok.
I think that this fern should handle the house environment ok but you may want to spray it during the fall into spring when you will want it to be green.
As summer approaches let it dry back. No water at all.
Because it is a southern variety you may want to keep the pot outside in shade for the humidity. But hold off on the water. If the plant is established by the time the summer comes it should make it through ok and maybe even if it is not.
As it often grows in trees in the south it occurs where the rainfall is heavy and frequent. During the growing period you can safely water it daily in the gravel mix though 2-3 times weekly is suitable.
I have tried to grow this species in my greenhouse but the plant I got had brown scale and I did not even realize it until it was too late!!! So be sure to inspect any plant you get!! I was totally blown away as I did not even think that brown scale would infect this kind of fern.
My basic experience with Polypodium is with the native California species, Polypodium californicum. This plant is amazing as I have a piece of it sitting in a pot that I laid on the side and sat it on my roof with the face of the pot facing north. I hardly ever water it yet when the rains come the fern pops out and reminds me just how tough it really is!!
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 10:24PM
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