How To Propagate a Fern

A favorite of gardeners, ferns are mainstays of many gardens all over the world. They complement a lot of different garden themes including floral gardens and rock gardens. One of the reasons why they are popular is because they are very easy to grow and propagate. Below are the steps to propagating ferns through cuttings and spores.

Propagation Through Cuttings

  1. Take a trip to the nearby woods and find a lush, healthy-looking clump of ferns. You can usually find such under along trails and under tall trees. Late summer is the perfect time to propagate ferns through cuttings.
  2. After you find a lush clump, dig them up carefully and put into a container. You can use large, rectangular plastic containers that you can find gardening supplies stores. Do not forget to put potting soil in the container.
  3. Transport your cuttings quickly to where you plan to plant them. Make sure that you cultivated the soil before hand so it will be easier to plant your cuttings.
  4. Choose fern cuttings with at least three growth nodules protruding from the rhizome. Plant them within an inch below the ground level and cover with soil. However, do not pack the soil; just cover the cuttings lightly.
  5. Water your cuttings sparingly. After a few days, the rhizome will take root and you will have a new stable fern plan in your garden.

Propagation Through Spores

  1. Find a healthy clump of ferns in the nearby woods. Look for ripe spore capsules. You can find spore capsules on the segments of the frond. If the spore capsules are already brown, cut off the entire frond and put them inside a paper envelope.
  2. Hang the paper envelope to dry and wait for the spore capsules to burst open. The spore capsules usually take three days to ripen and burst open.
  3. Select the healthy looking spores and discard the rest. Place them in a glass dish with organic seeding material. Make sure to add boiling water to the organic seeding material and let it cool before sowing the fern spores. The boiling water will kill other spores that might affect the incubation of the fern spores. In addition, keep in mind not to cover the fern spores with organic seeding material. Just let them be when you sow them.
  4. Water the fern spores by misting. Do this regularly as this is necessary for the proper development of the fern spores.
  5. Transfer young ferns into small pea pots when they reach a height of 2.5 inches to 3 inches. This will take about three months at the very least to develop. Wait for spring before you finally transfer the young ferns into the ground. Choose a shady area, preferably under a tall tree, to plant these young ferns.

In sum, lush, green ferns can be propagated through cutting and spores. It is up to the gardener to choose which one suits his/or her preferences. Happy gardening!


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