splitting ferns?

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by paxi, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    St. Louis
    I have several japanese painted ferns and lady ferns that I would like to multiply. How exactly does one go about splitting the ferns. Best time of year to do this? These were just planted last fall. Should I let them flesh out a bit for another year before doing this ? Any details appreciated as I am a beginner gardener.

  2. Lee Larkin

    Lee Larkin Member

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    I often divide my ferns in fall (late October) or in early spring (March) before the fronds unfurl. The ferns need to have a large enough crown with lots of unfurled fronds. For maidenhair and lady fern, I decide where I want to split the fern and with a sharp shovel cut through dividing the crown with roots for each clump. Some people are more gentle and use two garden forks back to back and pry the crown apart. Lady fern, when large enough, will form more than one entire crown on their own.

    For evergreen ferns, I allow them to grow large enough to form more than one obvious crown. Usually when you purchase an evergreen fern you can see that there is more than one plant in the pot (vase-shaped circle of fronds equaling one crown) and these can be divided up to create more plants.

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