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moving ferns

Posted by kavell 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 26, 07 at 17:05

i have some ferns growing in full sun (planted by the previous owner of our new home - they were there when we moved in the summer of 2005 and came back in 2006 and this year also). i think they're either lady ferns or ostrich plume. they've already sprouted and are about 6-10 inches or so high and havent fully opened up yet while some of them are just breaking ground. i'd like to move them to a shady area because the fronds burn pretty badly in the sun. my question is, how is the best way to go about this? i'm new to gardening and dont want to harm them.
also, the soil in the area that i'd like to move them to is very clay like. i've read that they like a lot of peat moss but how much should i work into the soil?
thanks in advance for any advice that anyone can provide!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: moving ferns

I wouldn't both with peat moss, but just buy a bag of top soil from Home Depot (about $1) and amend the new area with that; it's got enough organic matter in it to be of help. Get the new spot ready before you dig up the ferns. Then just dig around the ferns in a generous circle and about 8 inches down. Both lady and ostrich are very hardy ferns and should take the transplanting well. Even if you damage a frond or two, new ones will grow.

RE: moving ferns

I have found the smaller ones that are just breaking ground take the move better. The large ostrich can look pretty ratty if you bend or break a fron. They will be beautiful, next year but at this point in the spring, why look at that all summer if it can be avoided.

RE: moving ferns

If they are ostrich ferns, don't worry too much about the soil--they will do well just about anywhere as long as the soil doesn't dry out too much.

Ostrich ferns transplant easily, although the smaller the better. Late fall and early spring are best but I've discovered that you can cut all the foliage off and transplant the crown without leaves. It will suffer less shock this way, and will grow a new set of leaves as long as you don't do it too late in the growing season.

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