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How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

Posted by sambal z8 Seattle WA (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 25, 08 at 16:12

Last week we had to bring our Davillia fern inside due to night temps. in the 30's. We took this dubious oppertunity to water her well and do some grooming. Then we sat her just inside the door. She looked really good for the first few days. Then, one morning I noticed that several of her 'feet' had been broken off, some with fronds attached and some with just the fuzzy 'feet'. As I was picking up the pieces, the two kittens ran up to me & starting playing chase around the fern. So, knowing I had found the culprits, I put the fern in a safe place. How do I start new ferns from the pieces I saved. She also requires repotting this season and I'm sure I'll lose even more "feet". How do I propagate the pieces? Also, is there a way to repot the mother plant without losing alot of "feet". Any help would be appreciated! Thanks a bunch!


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RE: How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

Very easy job which is applicable to all potted ferns including Boston and rabbit's foot. Are you growing the latter in an open wire type basket? They grow best potted in that manner.

To repot ferns, using a long serrated knife, plunge the knife down into the fern almost to the bottom and cut out and remove a circular plug in the center about 1/3 the size of the pot. Fill the remaining hole with good potting soil, water well. Very easy. Densely growing ferns are best treated in this manner early every spring and can be maintained in the same pot for years. They regrow quickly. The removed fern plug can be potted to grow a new fern if desired.

Individual 'rabbit feet' can also be rooted in soil.


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RE: How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

  • Posted by sambal z8 Seattle WA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 1, 08 at 14:13

Hi. Thanks for the advice. Our weather is improving, temp. wise, and I think I will go ahead and divide the fern itself. I actually do have some 12" and 14" wire baskets that we "stuff" with our own moss. Have grown many kinds of begonias in those, but I actually would prefer the ferns. I would also like to get another Staghorn this season. The problem I have with those is that they get so big that when they have to come in for the winter, I just don't have a place to water them without making a mess. Any suggestions? My husband is the 'fern man'. He basically works with the garden ferns, but I'm slowly reintroducing him to more of the 'exotic' types. The 'deers' tongue and the dainty Maidenhair are often winter hardy here. So is the Pteris. We lost alot of them a few years back when we had a hard winter. Our hardy ferns are now sending up their beautiful fiddleheads. Is it too late to divide? They are getting huge and have broken the containers they were in a couple of years ago. I'd finally like to put them in the ground. We have a 30 year old stand of nandinas that my dad and I planted when my folks used to live here. I'd always been told that they didn't send out new plants, but they certainly have gone crazy with age. Last season we had to cut many of them down to the ground as they were blocking one another out. Can I dig some of the new babies and move them to another place? Well, I've asked enough questions! Thanks. SAM


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RE: How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

I would like to propagate my old Davallia by cuttings (as described above). Is it possible for this plant be propagated by rooting cuttings taken from the hairy 'feet'? The problem I have is that I have to travel by airplane to my new home and I can't take the plant with me. (It's almost 30 years old, a first Valentine's Day present from my late husband, and it's huge.)
If I water the plant well, and give it a very light feeding, then a day or so later cut several hairy feet to pack in my carry on, wrapped in a zip-lock baggie, would that cutting root if I planted it on arrival? TIA


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RE: How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

I have trouble with the little "feet" when propagating. Should I use root-tone or something like that to get them to produce more roots? Do you cover them with soil or just lay on top of the soil? So far my success rate is in the minus column. Would appreciate any help!!!


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RE: How do I propagate my Davillia..rabbits foot fern?

You stated "Individual 'rabbit feet' can also be rooted in soil." How? Do I put the entire "foot" in the soil with the frond up? Do I lay the foot on the soil with the frond down?
Can you be a little more precise please? I only have one foot and don't want to kill it. Thank you, Janice


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