PlantFiles: Japanese Climbing Fern Lygodium japonicum
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Hardiness: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
On Oct 7, 2009, hatmatack from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
This plant is invasive in Atlanta, Georgia - farther north than the other negative commenters have documented. It may be somewhat controllable in colder or drier climates, but remember that kudzu is adapting farther and farther north even as we speak!
On Jun 19, 2009, L_Garnett from Starkville, MS wrote:
This is an invasive non-native plant. It is nearly impossible, if not completely impossible to control its spread because the means of propagation is spores from spore sacs on elongated parts of the leaf that are wind dispersed. The spores can also be transported to new locations on your vehicle, clothes, or in pine straw bales. In the forest it can form mats on the ground that can outcompete native vegetation, thereby drastically altering habitat quality. If left unchecked it can grow up into the tree canopy providing "ladder fuel" when it dies back for a crown fire versus a surface fire in a wildfire or a prescribed fire situation. As one person commented --- it's an EVIL weed -- pretty but very destructive.
Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum) must be carefully controlled if selected for a garden. I found that it is easier to manage on a three-sided vegetable frame. It roots itself underground and continues to send up new plants which have to be removed by digging them out. The plant is thorny and slightly stinging so gloves are recommended when working with this plant. It sends out runner fronds as long as 15 feet and these must be cut back or other plants will be smothered. While the vines are attractive with delicate foliage and a light color of green, the plant requires quite a bit of control throughout the year. This is from Houston.
On Jun 29, 2006, broncomann from Florence, AL wrote:
I am an environmental professional who has performed numerous plant surveys in Florida and Mississippi. I have found Japanese climbing fern in scores of locations in Central and Southern Florida, in many instances climbing to heights of 30 feet and more and blanketing native vegetation. It is so common and so heavy along Florida Highway 60 in Hardee, Manatee and Highlands Counties that you can spot it from the road at speeds of 60 miles per hour and up. Most recently, I found it in Jackson and Stone Counties, Mississippi and in the city of Hoover in Shelby County, Alabama, which is part of Greater Birmingham. This is an EVIL weed!
On Feb 17, 2006, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have a Slash Pine forest next to my yard and this plant is everywhere in it. It gets in my yard attaches to anything. I am constantly having to pull it out of my trees. I spray it with herbicide but that doesn't seem to be working.
On Sep 17, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
True, this is an attractive fern growing in a controlled environment, but when one has seen the destructive, smothering way this fern takes over native habitats they will be happy to give it up as I did. I now make an effort to pull up and bag it wherever I see it in the wild. It is almost impossible to irradicate wherever it gets a foothold.
Both Lygodium japonicum and L. microphyllum are listed as Category I Exotic Pest Plants in Florida.
On Sep 16, 2004, pgbledsoe from Weatherford, TX wrote:
I have this plant growing up a post on my Japanese bridge in my Japanese Garden. It looks wonderful!! I get so many compliments on the plant. This is its 3rd summer to survive in our hot Texas heat. I do protect the plant in the winter by wrapping Grow Web around the base of the vine, but that's all I do. This vine is not readily found at our local nurseries; I purchased mine at North Haven Nursery in Dallas, TX, three years ago. I only wish I had purchased more as I haven't been to North Haven Nursery since then...it's too far from where I live.
I'm wondering if anyone knows how to propagate this vine. I haven't tried, but I'm guessing maybe by cuttings. I have a greenhouse and plan on giving it a try.
On Nov 16, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
This fern, although not as serious a threat to entire forests as L. microphyllum, is a commonly encountered invasive exotic throughout most of Florida, and on the coastal plain from North Carolina south to central Florida and west to southeast Texas. It pops up even in relatively remote natural areas in Mississippi.
On Nov 15, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
A climbing fern from Asias and Australia. Tolerates some dryness. Dies back to root system in drouts, but won't if kept moist.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Atmore, Alabama Auburn, Alabama Clayhatchee, Alabama Gadsden, Alabama Indian Springs Village, Alabama South Vinemont, Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tuscumbia, Alabama Tuskegee, Alabama Asbury Lake, Florida Bartow, Florida Chiefland, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Panama City Beach, Florida Cordele, Georgia North Decatur, Georgia Saucier, Mississippi Starkville, Mississippi Waynesboro, Mississippi Albemarle, North Carolina Florence, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Appleby, Texas Houston, Texas Hudson Oaks, Texas Porter Heights, Texas Virginia Beach, Virginia