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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

Plant Profile Series




Image Page (Over 30 Ferns Illustrated)

Most ferns are not really all that difficult to grow in the modern home. The biggest problem is underwatering. Ferns do not tolerate neglect, however they will reward the conciencious gardener with lush, attractive foliage, sometimes maturing to form spores on the undersides of the fronds.

Ferns are often available in several types, including adiantum or maidenhair, asplenum or birdnest, boston types, platycerium or staghorn types, polypodium, pteris, and pellaea (most often seen as button).

General Care:

TEMPERATURE: Provide average warmth in the range of 60° to 75°. Ferns prefer it cooler than other tropical plants and suffer if temperatures go much above 75°.

LIGHT: Ferns like bright light, even indirect, filtered sunlight. An east or bright north-facing window is ideal.

WATER: Keep the soil moist at all times without making it soggy. Provide for elevated humidity. Group plants on a humidity tray or locate near a cool mist humidifier.

Feed lightly with a balanced fertilizer mixed at half the recommended strength.

Propagation is by dividing in the spring. Some adventurous gardeners may want to try growing plants from the spores, but it is time consuming and not always successful.

Assorted ferns are usually available in 4" and 6" pots.