There are many legends and beliefs about him, but this is all for the romantics. For a practical gardener and those who appreciate the beauty and comfort of a summer house or a country house, its other advantages are important - decorativeness, unpretentiousness to care and climate and undemanding to the place of planting. They are indispensable in the design of landscape compositions. The shade tolerance of the fern is truly unique, which means that it will always find a place on your site, especially where there is a need to hide their ugliness. How to get gorgeous fluffy thickets in that part of the garden where other plants simply can not survive?
Fern is the common name for a group of spore plants, the bulk of which are similar in appearance, but have many varieties and varieties. They differ from each other not only in shapes and sizes, but also in life cycles, and characteristic features of the structure, and environmental plasticity.
They grow in any climatic zones, but for planting on a personal plot it is better to choose the "indigenous people" of the same region. This will allow them not to create special conditions for maintenance and acclimatization. Moreover, almost all types of ferns are decorative and attractive.
Do you know that ferns are much older than humans? Currently, there are approximately 300 genera of this plant! In ancient times, they looked more like trees with a huge spreading crown. Today you can find both dwarf species from 3 cm, and tropical giants several meters high.
There are several types of winter-hardy fern that will take root perfectly in the gardens of the middle lane and will not require additional care:
Female coder. The height of this variety reaches a meter, and he lives in one place for about 10 years. It has a beautiful spreading crown.
Ferns are unpretentious, but this does not mean that they will grow anywhere. But their requirements are directly opposite to the conditions that basic garden crops require - instead of the sun, they need shade, instead of moderate hydration - constant high humidity.
But they, by and large, do not need fertilizers at all. They are not demanding on the ground. For planting, you should choose a shaded and necessarily moist place. It should be borne in mind that different varieties tolerate waterlogging in different ways or, conversely, lack of moisture.
Direct sunlight will not bring any benefit to the plant, rather the opposite - the plant will be stunted, stunted and, most likely, will become ill in the near future.
Disputes and division
This path is possible for gardeners, but it is quite long and painstaking. To do this, ripened spores with leaves are cut in the fall, and in January they are sown in prefabricated soil (2 parts of peat, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of sand) without being buried at the same time, but placed on top and moistened from a sprayer. Glass is placed on top of the ground. On the 2nd month after planting, the first shoots will appear. If you want to deal with varieties that have long rhizomes (ostrich, brack, etc.), the reproduction process will be much easier - it is enough to divide the adult bush in early spring and plant it in the ground after removing the threat of repeated frost.
This is the easiest and most common way without much hassle. It is enough to dig a bushy and healthy bush in the forest, wrap the roots with the ground so that they do not dry out during transportation, slightly moisten the plant itself, and at home already divide it and plant it in place.
When planting large varieties, leave a sufficient distance to neighboring plants, otherwise the fern will easily “squeeze” them!
Before planting, determine the size of an already adult plant and, accordingly, prepare a planting pit for it. The diameter of the hole for large varieties will be about 50 cm, the depth is not less than 40. It is best to fill it with the same soil in which the bush grew before transplanting - this will greatly facilitate its survival. To do this, do not be lazy to grab some forest land with you.
If you bought a finished plant grown in the nursery, be sure to add peat when planting and do not overdo it with fertilizers. Fern does not like this. Water the new home immediately.
Despite the fact that the culture is considered unpretentious, you should be very careful about the seedlings when transplanting: avoid drying the roots, dropping leaves, try not to touch them at all during work.
At the end of all actions, it is necessary to mulch the soil with sawdust or old grass. This will save the necessary moisture.
In conditions of insufficient rains, systematic watering is important. Improves the condition of the plant and periodic shallow loosening. There is no need for pruning (except for broken or diseased leaves). Old withered foliage will serve as fertilizer for future generations.
Top dressing is optional, but if you wish, you can make it to do it better than the beginning of growth, in the spring.
Ferns are more responsive to liquid fertilizers.
A plant brought from the forest is hardly worth surrounding with special care - nobody worried about it there, and you don’t need to. But if it is from more heat-loving varieties, and the winter in your latitudes is cold and long, a little preparation for wintering will be required. In late autumn, the fern should be covered with a “blanket”. For this, any covering material is suitable for which peat is poured on top, old foliage, or just a spruce heap.
Diseases and Pests
Usually a fern rarely suffers from diseases, but if the growing conditions are grossly violated or there is an unfavorable neighborhood, you can encounter a fungal infection (fungi of the species Phyllosticta) and a bacterial infection. Outwardly, it looks like this: the leaves turn yellow, then they turn brown and die. Dark plaque is possible only on the back of the leaf or the central vein is affected (then we are talking about such a formidable disease as a leaf nematode). In this case, you will have to part with the plant, and it is better to dig out and contaminated soil. You can fight a fungal infection by cutting off all dry and diseased leaves, and carefully treat the remaining plant with a fungicide. In the future, special attention should be paid to watering and loosening.
Among insects that can infect ferns, scabies, mealybugs and fern aphids are more common. In this case, various insecticides help well. The main thing is not to forget to eliminate the reason why the plant has weakened, otherwise the disease will return again.
The variety and beauty of ferns, their unpretentiousness allow these plants to take their rightful place in the landscape design of summer cottages and household plots. This small oasis will not only hide unsightly places empty due to lack of light, but also give a lot of aesthetic pleasure.
Growing fern from spores
In the event that a fern is already growing on your site, then you can very easily propagate it by simply collecting spores from its adult bushes. Or you can ask them from your neighbors or acquaintances, collect them yourself in the forest, or buy them in a specialty store. Collecting the seed is much simpler than you might think.
On the inner surface of the fern leaf are small tubercles. It is in them that the disputes are located. A white cloth or a sheet of paper should be fasted under the bush.
Next, you should shake the seeds on the corrupted material. Then within one week they must be dried on a newspaper in a warm and dry room.
After you should prepare the spores for sowing.
Growing a plant such as fern from spores is a very interesting and exciting procedure. She mono teach even a small child. It is best to sow in January. To do this, you need to take the box and fill it with a substrate. We advise you to use the following mixture:
- Sheet land (it is better to use forest litter) - one part.
- Fibrous-peat substrate - two parts.
- Calcined river sand is one piece.
Spores are rather small particles. for this reason, it is better to carry out seeding from a syringe without a needle. This seed material must be scattered on the surface of the substrate, as if forming a continuous carpet. Next, it needs to be sprayed with water from a spray bottle. Then cover the box with plastic wrap or clear glass in order to create a warm environment. The fern will sprout for a very long time. Somewhere for two months. All this period of time it should be observed and in time to moisten the soil, in no case preventing drying out. The care and planting of ferns is slightly different from growing the rest of the plants .. Young shoots are similar to a continuous carpet of moss. And after only some time, you will be able to see that small separate sockets with small leaves appear. It is necessary to accustom to grow a fern without a film gradually, daily slightly opening the greenhouse for 2-3 hours. After they grow to seven centimeters, the fern can be planted in separate pots (the diameter of these pots should be no more than 12 cm).
Fern planting in open ground
The main conditions for growing ferns are: shade and humidity. If you follow them, then on your site very soon there will be good plant bushes. Planting a fern is also important. In particular, the planting of sprouted plants in open soil is carried out no earlier than the fifteenth of May. In the northern regions 11-15 days later. It is important in this case that the soil has time to warm up perfectly, and there could be no threat of freezing. To plant fern, it is necessary to prepare a 60 by 60 cm plot, digging it up and adding peat and coarse sand to the soil. On the flowerbed, you need to make a small hole (one and a half times more than a lump of earth from the pot), and carefully mark the plant in it, sprinkled with earth and slightly compacted. Upon completion, the fern needs to be watered. When growing ferns, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the leaves can quite be very sweeping. For this reason, between plants it is necessary to leave a free space of 45 to 60 cm.
Fern Care Features
The main feature of fern is that it is basically no more. For excellent growth and further development, this plant will need additional nutrition, and when grown in harsh climatic conditions, winter shelter is required.
Watering, loosening the soil, fertilizing.
If you intend to learn how to grow a home fern, then you should carefully study the following recommendations. To avoid very rapid evaporation of moisture, it is recommended to mulch the soil. You can also use wood chips, mowed grass, shavings or chopped tree bark. Water the fern as needed. In that case, if the summer was very rainy, then the fern does not need additional irrigation. This plant prefers moisture and coolness. Therefore, in the summer, in moderate and warm weather, we recommend that you spray the fern from the garden spray. After planting a fern, care will not include fertilizer application. Mono plant for the second year with the onset of spring. To do this, you can use various complex mineral compositions or organic fertilizers.
Fern preparation for winter
Fern species such as ostrich and bracken are very frost-resistant and do not need additional shelter. Heat-loving fern varieties in the autumn time sprinkle and spud with a layer of mulch. You can use wood chips, straw, or wood shavings. At the end of the season, the leaves begin to die and take on a dry and unattractive appearance. You can not delete them. With the onset of spring, fresh greens will completely clog the sluggish parts of the fern, and he will again be able to find beauty. After the dead parts of the fern become larger every three years, the plant should be replanted. First they dig a bush, then old leaves are removed, and the roots are carefully divided into parts. This procedure must be carried out in early spring, until the fern began to grow. With this method of propagation, the planting of ferns and their further care should be carried out in the same way as when growing young seedlings.
Where to place the fern
Choose a suitable place in the room for the plant. Since the fern is shade tolerant, it can be placed on a stand in the room or put on a shelf. Here the plant will be most comfortable. Some ferns are suitable for bright but diffused light, so they will feel great near a window facing east or north.
The most suitable temperature for fern growth is about 15-20 ° C, at a temperature below 10 ° C the plant will die, and will feel uncomfortable if the temperature is above 22 ° C. In ordinary apartments, the temperature is much higher, so the fern can be placed in the kitchen or in the hallway, or spray the plant daily.
Features of watering
It is necessary to water the plant regularly, avoiding overdrying of an earthen coma. The fern is very sensitive to lack of moisture, the tips of the waya begin to dry, and then the entire foliage is completely. Dry leaves need to be removed and resume periodic irrigation.
In winter, ferns begin to rest. At this time, watering must be reduced. But the earth in the pot must be moist all the time. In the spring, with the onset of a growth period, watering is gradually increased.
The water should be soft, so it's best to let it stand at room temperature or use rainwater for irrigation.
Ferns do not tolerate the dry air of the apartment, so daily spray them with warm water, on hot days, do this at least 2 times a day in the morning and evening.
If you cannot often spray the fern, pour expanded clay into the pan and moisten it, and cover the surface of the soil in the pot with moist moss. As dry, moisten expanded clay and moss.
How to transplant fern
Prepare the substrate for planting the fern. Take 2 parts of leaf humus, one part of peat and 2 parts of peeled sand. For ferns with golden foliage, experts suggest that you need to add a little rotted bark to the soil.
Since the plant is quite large, then select a pot for it corresponding to its size. Ferns can also be grown in hanging planters and in baskets. Put drainage on the bottom of the pot, then a layer of nutrient substrate. Place the plant and fill the ground. Water the fern and place in a bright place.