Transplanting Ferns from Woodlands

HotHouseHenApril 24, 2005

Since I am trying to incorporate one part of my front yard as a woodland/shade garden I was wondering how much success I would have if I transplanted some ferns from the other end of our 300+ acres of property to my front yard. I transplanted some very small ferns last year but only moved them about 20ft so the growing conditions were almost identical, and they survived and have multiplied. Also, does anyone know of a good book that I could get from the library that would help me identify what kinds of ferns I have found? I am very new at ferns, but I am very much willing to do any research to learn more. I want so very much to keep native plants thriving here, plus I don't have alot of cash to buy woodland plants even if I could find a nursery that has locals. I bought a wildflower guide from the Runge Center Store to help with flower identification, so I have one resource. It doesn't have ferns though. Any information is appreciated.


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I have rescued ferns from many locations in my area and transplanted those in my woodland garden or grow them in pots. Have not had a problem with them adapting to a different type of habitat, even from bogs to pots. There is a web site that lists, with photos, over 1000 native plants of Missouri, including Ferns and grasses, that may be helpful(Link below). Some of the ferns listed require special soil conditions, but since they are on your property, you could bring a large measure of soil with those when you transplant. I would look for books about native Ferns by authors John Mickel and Edgar T. Wherry.I have volumes by both and they are very helpful in identification and culture. You might also check on the Peterson Field Guide of Ferns by Broughton Cobb. It covers ferns of NE & Central NA.

Here is a link that might be useful: Missouri Plants

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:38PM
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Thank you so very much for the information. I have that sight bookmarked now for reference.

Hubby and I go morel mushroom hunting and I'll see a fern and go........"ooooh" and he says, "Did you find one?" I'll say, "yep, but it's a fern" and he just shakes his he comes home from turkey hunting telling me how many ferns he has found.........LOL

It's a little addicting.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 7:14AM
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Easiest time to transplant or divide ferns is just before the fronds leaf out--I do it just when they start to swell. That's when it's easy to see where you can take divisions.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 6:17PM
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susanargus(z7 NoVA)

There's a fern forum!

Here is a link that might be useful: Moss, Ferns & Cryptogams

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 5:17PM
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