Yeahhh! Love the look of ferns...they go great with the hostas. I am new to ferns but know there are lots of experts on DG who are very willing to share their knowledge with the likes of me and other newbies.
I had a pic to post to celebrate earlier, but I was so excited about the Fern forum, then the sun was shining beautifully, I think I got the wrong place! It asked me to put in the heading (it would being a thread wouldn't it!) and I lost the pic. So here is my spore grown tree fern from last year, much bigger this year but getting too tall to get a bird's eye view, I may have to put them outside!
Wallaby, can you post a picture of it from the side? The fronds look a lot like my tree fern...have no idea what it's name is. Mine is in my shade garden and must be watered every day so the soil never gets dry.
Pati, I will have to take a pic., its dark here now so tomorrow I will. I have 2 and one is more robust than the other but the fronds look similar. The centres before they unfurl are a slightly different colour. I did take one but deleted it as it wasn't very good, they are getting really big now, I think it is a little over 5 years since I grew them, had loads of 'ferny' frond ones, it was a mix, but I transplanted them too late, the roots of Cyathea don't like to be disturbed and it should be done when in the 'livery' stage. They were so tight packed once the fronds started to grow I was at a loss as to how to separate them! The mix was Cyathea and Dicksonia, they can be hardyish here in mild locations, haven grown these myself that may increase their chances. That pic is of the slimmer one, it has developed some forked fronds. The other one is tighter in its heart, and thicker altogether. The heart where unfurled fronds are is a golden brown, I thought it may be Cyathea brownii.
They are buried behind pots of other ferns, other unknowns which grew in the compost. The spore throws everywhere from the tree ferns, I have little ones everywhere in a tray near it, I am pondering on what I should do as they are growing quite quickly, and some may not be from that but most will be. I had thought today I will have to take them out, could do with a pot on but they are already in quite large pots.
I recently bought a tree fern, (dickonsnoia antartica) and am hoping to grow new ones from spores, my question is will these have fertile spores from just 1 plant? and if so what is the best method of propagating them, I was going to try agar medium in sterile cups. any suggestions, there is no sign of the spores yet on the undersides of the leaves, when aproximatley do they spore? Thanks Caleb
Pati, I have taken a pic, but had to do it in the greenhouse with other ferns in front of them, if I move them (front ones) now I will break off the fronds, it is a rare one I think from Nth Scotland, Cystopteris possibly. Also, I logged off to do some gardening, can't get the computer to work now! Windows loads but everything freezes, it mostlly happens on holiday weekends but that isn't until this weekend, it usually comes back later or next day. I can't even download the pics.
cgarvin, I will give you my growing methods later when I can use my computer again, this one is a win95 and the keyboard is a multiple letterer, drives me crazy..
My 2 tree ferns, I think it was late 2000 when I started them, so they are over 5 years old. The one on the left is the slimmer one, you can see a branched frond at the front and the foliage you can see is of course new. They are both producing new ferns from the base around the main crown, they have produced spore for 2 years at least, perhaps 3 so they could be from the first lot of spore made. Last year they made tons of it, and it threw it everywhere, a tray on the shelves next to it is full of self set ferns. That is on the shady side of the greenhouse, they go through cold winters no trouble, even baby ones. We had a very long cold winter, frost to -7C and quite a few to -5C. The baby ferns that grew last year never flinched.
I have grown spore inside and it is successful if put in a heated propogator in a shaded place, mine is under a south facing window but the back of the propogator is shaded, it's heated 68-72F. I used my mix of moss peat, leafy compost and gritty soil. You can microwave it to sterilise, or pour boiling water over it and leave to cool. The spore only needs to be thinly sprinkled over, try not to use fingers I think that can contaminate. Use a fine sprayer of boiled water to keep moist, a lid with one vent open or both closed may be OK. It has to be wet enough for the male spore to swim to the female spore! It usually doesn't take long to make green fuzz, then comes the livery platelets. At this stage you should take small pieces and place in their own pots on the surface, again keeping moist. I have tried some by leaving it in a plastic bag in a spare room but that isn't as successful, and if not kept properly moist central heating can dry it out over winter even if the compost is wet the air needs to be damp. My tree ferns make spore in summer, these have black capsules which burst and release the brown spore, I think in early autumn. It doesn' immediately throw it all over so can be collected by scraping with a knife but I left it and it did it's own thing.
I recently bought a 5 gallon specimen from home depot for 20$, its got about a 4" trunk, so I think its old enought to set spore, I was just curious as no spore cases have started on the undersides of the leaves yet, but if they dont burst until fall theres still plenty of time. thanks for the info Caleb
Wallaby, I finally went out and dug up the name tag for my tree fern. It's name is Blechnum Fern 'Silver Lady'. Once I found out that she absolutely would not stand for her soil to dry, sh'e grown beautifully. The chilly winter didn't seem to bother her, not even two spells when we had freezing temps of 31° for four hours..
cgarvin, you got a good deal there! The new fronds you can see in my pic have already started to make spore, it starts as small whitish circles and only makes on the top 1/3 of the fronds of those. You should have new foliage, take a look.
Pati, Blechnum does make a short trunk and some can be hardy to a point, up to -5C or perhaps more. I really would love to have B brasiliense, take a look...if you click the very bottom link it will take you to a page with other tree fern and eucalyptus links, it is an amazing site. I did a lot of my research there.
Thanks Wallaby, really an amazing site with a lot of information! At the same time I bought my plant at our small botanical garden plant sale, I bought another tree fern, but it either didn't have a tag, or I lost it. It really looks like a real tree. I'm going to try to get a pix and see if you can help with the I.D