I recently Purchased a rabbits foot fern and want to transplant it either to a larger pot to hang or a basket to hang.The basket is a coco mesh lined metal basket. There are two parts to my question. First, how brittle are the rhizomes? The rhizomes are currently hugging the sides of the pot it is in. When I pot it up will the rhizomes bend around the new (wider) rim? Also, if I go with the basket, should I line it with plastic?
The rhizomes are fairly tough, but also fairly flexible.
They grow quite fast and follow the contours of whatever they're in, before long it'll be impossible to extricate the pot from between them ;-) I've found it is simpler just to take some cuttings and start them in the new pot, rather than try and repot the whole thing.
Thanks Res. Do I need to go to the trouble of using a rooting hormone? Then, when I plant the cuttings, where will the new sprouts come from? Should they be planted vertical or flat radiating out from the center?
I just stuck a piece of rhizome in a pot, and it rooted easily without any hormone. Since the hormones usually sold are developed for flowering plants, they might not work as desired with ferns, so probably best not used.
Plant in whatever pattern you like! The rhizomes will continure growth at their tips, and also produce side branches. Don't expect them to maintain whatever design you chose ;-) The new growth will tend to grow hugging whatever surface it can find - in the wild, this probably helps it trap rain and windblown soil particles, leaf fragments, etc., to provide it with additional soil to root in.
This fern is an epiphyte, and gets most of its nutrition from the rhizomes that hang outside the pot. Each one of those "legs" is a water and nutrient reservoir. Below is a site that tells you how to repot them, I'm going to try the cone shaped cutting this winter after I nurse this incredibly matted specimen through another summer. Right now mine is just a huge ball with live rhizomes chris-crossing and struggling over the spent ones so fpr me, it's really time! http://www.srtrop.com/ferns/tips.htm