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Autumn Fern Slow to Emerge

Posted by lacey43 zone 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 13, 07 at 21:30

I have an Autumn fern which has been in the same spot for 3 years. It grew larger each year until this year. The brown fiddleheads all remain tightly curled except for one that just emererged today (7/13/07). Does anyone have any idea of what's wrong with this plant? My other Autumn ferns which are located close by are fine, in fact all my ferns are thriving except this one. I tried unfurling one fiddlehead last month, it snapped in my hand but under the brown exterior it was green & alive.It looks like another fiddle head is about to unfurl. Any ideas as to what's wrong and how to treat it would be appreciated.

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RE: Autumn Fern Slow to Emerge

Autumn ferns have no major pests and diseases, so I would suspect a problem with the soil, either compacted, thus not allowing moisture to reach the roots or low in fertility.
I would dig it up and inspect the roots for rodent damage and replant in ammended soil, peat moss (for acidity) and composted ground bark fines for drainage. Keep soil moist, not soggy and fertilize with a water soluble mix(3-1-2 ratio, such as 18-6-12) at strength, every 2 weeks, until fall. Be sure it is shielded from direct sunlight, dappled shade is fine.
They are tough ferns and it should recover, but may be slow.
Good luck!

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