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Fern Care

Ferns are an ancient type of plant, with fossils of ferns being dated back over three hundred and sixty million years ago. As they are known today, ferns are leafy, non-flowering plants that grow in very moist areas. Like all other types of plants, ferns have several species, which have varying growing conditions.

Ferns are extremely successful niche plants, meaning that they are well adapted to specific environmental conditions. Ferns are vascular plants, meaning that they have developed internal vein structures that aid in the flow of nutrients and water to the outer parts of the plant. Most vascular plants, such as flowers and leafy trees, grow immediately from the seed to their adult form. Ferns, on the other hand, reproduce using spores that grow into an intermediate stage referred to as gametophytes.

The reproductive cycle of ferns is very complicated and needs specific conditions to be completed. First and most importantly, there must be liquid water. This is so that when the gametophyte is grown out of a spore, the sperm from one side of the gametophyte can swim to the eggs on the other side. Once fertilization has occurred, the fern is nurtured inside the gametophyte and grows into the adult plant.

To grow properly, ferns need good moisture, both in the air and in the soil. Ferns also require protection from the wind, as they are very delicate plants. Ferns require sufficient light for photosynthesis, but need protection from too much direct sunlight, as this will dry out the plant. It is important to maintain all of these factors regularly, as ferns are very reliant on consistent conditions to both grow and reproduce.

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  • Growing Ferns

    Fern in the winterGrowing ferns differs from growing other types of plants in many ways. First of all, many plants need partial to full sun to be able to survive in a garden.  Growing ferns in partial to full sun, on the other hand, will be extremely detrimental to the health of the plants. The natural habitat of many ferns is the rainforest, and they have become accustomed to being shaded and having lots of moisture. Continue reading

  • Dividing Ferns

    Multiple FernsMany time when growing ferns and other types of plants, they become too large for their pot or basket. When this happens, the plant must be placed into a larger pot or basket in order for the plant to continue growth.

    On many occasions, however, a larger holder may not be available or desired. On these occasions, it is possible to divide the plant into two or more smaller plants.  Dividing ferns is very similar to the act of dividing other perennials. First, the plant must be removed from the soil or pot.  This can sometimes be tricky, as the root structure inside the pot may be dense and unwieldy. Next, as much soil as possible must be removed to allow access to the root ball.
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  • Fern Life Cycle

    Fern SporesFerns, unlike some other plants, do not flower in order to propagate. Instead, they reproduce sexually from spores.  The life cycle of a fern is very different from the life cycle of many other plants.

    While many plants grow a mature adult form straight out of the seed, ferns have an intermediate stage, called a gametophyte, which then grows into a mature fern.  There are two distinct stages in the life cycle of ferns. Continue reading

  • What is a Fern?

    Cinnamon_fernA fern is a leafy, flowerless plant that grows in areas of high moisture. Ferns are vascular plants, in that they have a complex internal vein structure that supplies nutrients to the outer regions of the plant.

    Ferns are different from other vascular plants in that most vascular plants grow directly from seeds, while a fern grows from a spore, through an intermediate stage called a gametophyte.  A fern requires certain characteristics in its surroundings to grow. Moisture in the air and soil is a must. A fern is a fairly delicate plant, so wind protection is needed also.
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