Transplanted ferns--will they live?

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)June 22, 2012

A friend has a cottage on lake MIchigan with a shady area behind that is filled with ostrich ferns, English Ivy, Day Lilies, Vinca, etc. She's trying to maintain a path through this growth, so offered to have us dig up the ferns she wanted gone so we could plant them at our house. We dug them up at 6 pm, transported them the 40 min drive in a plastic box and put them into the ground the next morning. We've watered them deeply and daily, since their new home is quite sandy. Some look barely alive, with a few green fronds left. Others have all their fronds curled and darkened to a crisp.

Is it possible the crisp ones might still survive? Could new fronds appear next spring even though they look like goners? TIA.


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Yep- just keep caring for them and IMO they will come back.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 5:13PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I would be willing to bet they will come back, too! Just be patient until next spring. Ferns are amazingly hardy plants.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Fronds damaged during transplant/transport are usually done for. But if the fern had been growing healthily before the transplant there'll be enough reserves in the heart of it to bring it back.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:43PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Thank-you for your responses. My ferns seem to be doing well. A few have put up new fronds already, so I'm optimistic that they'll hang in there.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I have similar... holding breath... I dug out and transplanted 10 huge ostrich ferns when someone moved, but most of the fronds broke in half, turned brown and shriveled up. Partly from my dog checking out the waving in the breeze fronds, partly from the move/transplant, partly from the horrible hot dry summer we are having. I keep watering what is left and crossing my fingers that they come back! A neighbor has awesome ostrich ferns that have all turned brown with our drought but she tells me they will come back, it has happened to her before and they come back ... so keep watering even if you aren't sure if they are alive!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:50AM
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