Many 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.
Using a sharp, long bladed knife to cut the root ball into equal pieces, depending on the number of plants desired. Each part should then be replanted into a separate container. Dividing ferns is unlike dividing other perennials in that ferns can take quite a bit of abuse when dividing. The root ball is usually extremely tight, so it may take considerable force to cut when dividing ferns. Many other perennials are more delicate and should be handled slightly differently than when dividing ferns.