Dividing Ferns

arcy_gwApril 30, 2005

The Propagating deal sounds like a whole lot more time/ patience then I am interested in. I am; however, wondering how, when, how old different ferns can be when divided. I have many different types. Some do not seem like they have obvious places to cut out and move to divide. The tatting fern for example. Are all ferns dividable? What do I need to know?

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art777(34984)

Yes-I must have a thousand ferns-and I can just indiscriminately yank them out of the ground-(I am not a tender gardener)and plop them into a space I want them in -and "voila! a new plant.)I can aldo take a very sharp kitchen knife and divide them-slash! Not everyones cup of tea-some people like to make things sound difficult-not me.My garden is spectacular in spite of my being the designer-not the plants.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:43PM
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houstonpat(9a)

Well, I'd agree that most ferns are dividable but not all. If you try to divide a Platycerium superbum you're likely to be disapointed. One fern I'm going to try and divide this summer is a "birds nest fern" Asplenium nidus. I've heard it is possible, so I'd figure I'll give it a shot.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 10:42PM
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arcy_gw

art777 you sound like my kind of gardener. I have a similar way of going at this garden thing. So far the only fern divisions that have failed was trying to bring a giant maiden hair fern from a northern Mn forest to my shade garden under the oaks. Too dry I would guess.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 4:06PM
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drmedica(z7-8OR)

Get a good fern book from the library - it'll tell you which kind are divideable and which aren't. Or look at the growth to see if it looks like you've got 2 crowns there... I recently divided a Deer fern that looked like it had multiple crowns. One piece was very mad at me but it has a section that should survive. I asked a native plant guy at a sale and he said he's NEVER divided deer fern. I don't think I was wrong tho....maybe just should have been more careful with my division.

Try one! Let us know what you divided and your success.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:59AM
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arcy_gw

The maiden hair ferns; my favorite; seem to be coming through the dividing. They are all coming up. They will be very small. Other then Ostrich that is the only dividing I have done. My autumn fern while getting a bigger crown I could not say there are more then one. Lady fern I would think would divide easily as it does not have a visible crown per say, just shoots. I think like the maiden hair I could cut out a shoot or two. I would love to divide my tatting fern it is also so fun. It too has a dense large crown. I would hate to lose it. I may have divided a Japanese painted fern last year come to think of it. I will have to look it up in my journal. Did I divide or jsut move? I know I could get a book but I like to hear real stories of success/failure. I manage to succeed often against a books advice!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 12:49PM
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keith424(9B-FL)

I have a very large "3 ft" wide Staghorn fern and I want to break it up into several new plants. Lots of pups on this baby. What is the best way of doing this procedure. Any help with this new project for me would be most appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:36AM
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esthermgr

OK- dragging this discussion out of the sands of time to ask specifically if anyone has divided an autumn fern by just cutting it into pieces? I'm poor and I have a lot of wet shade to cover with beautiful ferns...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:55PM
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jesselee26

This page is very interesting. I am not a gardener but I try. I visited a friend recently and am trying to decide what kind of fern she has around her. She lives (for lack of a better description) in a cabin in the woods. I believe she's got quite a few Dryopteris wallichiana (I also could be wrong). I hadn't ever seen them before but they are beautiful. They start small all curled up at the ends and get at least 4-5 foot tall. I was unsure if they would split...but I guess I should have tried. Any idea where I can buy something unusual like that?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:00AM
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