question about ferns I'm transplanting

trmeyer(z5a MO)June 9, 2005

I got some ferns that my grandma's neighbor had dug up and was going to throw out. My grandma planted some, and gave the rest to me. I have been super busy since I got them and wasn't able to get them planted, but I put them in a tub with some water on the roots so they wouldn't dry out. The tops have gone brown. Are they dead, or can I still plant them and get them to grow back? I really hate it that I was unable to get them planted. Is there any hope for them yet? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Tracy M

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fusty_overalls(z6 PA)

I'd definitely plant them. I'd probably trim off the truly dead foliage. And, make sure you set it in nice, soft, humusy soil with decayed leaves and stuff...nothing with clay. Keep it moist but not wet.

I'd guess that, once the root gets settled, it'll start putting out new shoots. My experience with ferns is that the root is the most important thing to protect. The foliage often falls back and dies during a transplant but, if the roots are there, you've probably got a live plant.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 10:04AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I'd plant and pray too. But they might have rotted in the tub. Make sure it has drainage now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 6:46PM
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Don't give up until next year. As said previously the roots health will tell the tale. They may not put out new growth this year but could easily do it next. It will be a waiting game, but worth it when they come back next year!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 7:12AM
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Yesterday I received some Ostrich Ferns from a neighbor that had dug out a patch of plants. They had sat out for about 24-48 hours, and were looking a bit dry, but I thought I'd try planting them anyway, figuring that as long as the roots were healthy, they would probably come back. The fronds are still green but there were several that were "bent" about 6-8 inches from the base, and are having trouble standing upright. I've never had ferns before, but I wasn't sure if trimming back the longer, leggy fronds would help the plant establish itself, or if it was better for them to be left on the plant. The fronds are probably on average about three feet in length. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 5:27AM
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felpec(Z5/6 NJ)

Early this spring, we did some clearing in our woods, and inadvertently trampled a bunch of ferns just as they were putting out their fiddleheads.

Thinking we'd killed them, I cut off all the damaged foliage (which was the entire plant). They're about a foot tall now and growing like crazy.

Ferns are tough plants - I doubt trimming the bent fronds will hurt them much.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 1:38PM
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