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Re: Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases
  • From: "Jennifer M. Ide" jmide@btinternet.com
  • Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 15:34:22 +0100

Dear Yvonne,
                      My apologies. I have just realised that I am doing to 
you just what Andrew did to me, that is make you do the work, and I hated 
it! I am beginning to run round like a headless chicken now! I have just 
woken up to the fact that it is Easter this weekend, which I hadn't 
bargained for in my planning of things to get done before going away! Also, 
I suddenly woke up this morning realising that I needed a visa for 
Australia! Phew! You can get them on-line, almost instantaneously!

Best wishes, Jennifer
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Needham (bneedham)" <bneedham@cisco.com>
To: <ferns@hort.net>; <ferns@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:22 PM
Subject: RE: [ferns] Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases

> Steam distilled water will contain no minerals.
> USD$0.60/gallon in most supermarkets.
> -BN
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ferns@hort.net on behalf of John Hawkins
> Sent: Tue 04/11/06 10:44
> To: ferns@hort.net
> Subject: Re: [ferns] Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases
> Thanks for your comments, Betsy and Brian. I kept filmy ferns in clear 
> plastic
> containers in my early and mid-teens, on the window sill of my bedroom ( a
> boarded-up porch on the shady side of the house - not particularly
> comfortable, but it was my patch and great for my fern experiments ). I 
> think
> that most lasted two to three years before mold took over.
> I have a few aquariums and Brian's comment about regular spraying has got 
> me
> wondering if I might use an air pump, air stone and a small pond of 
> rainwater
> in the bottom of a large glass jar ( or even a small aquarium ), to create
> enough splash to clean the fronds of ferns growing beside or above the 
> pond.
> It would be easy to regulate using a timer and I should be able to get 
> away
> with siphoning out the water at intervals and replacing it with new 
> rainwater.
> We had a small stand of regrowth Totora on the home farm, and there were 
> filmy
> ferns growing on many of the trunks of the trees. These dried out 
> completely
> on a regular basis, but quickly revived once it rained again. It would 
> have
> been an interesting species to cultivate. It was a different situation on 
> the
> farm we had at the head the valley - with an annual rainfall >3000m and 
> low
> cloud much of the rest of the time, the bush was heaving with filmy ferns.
> John.
>>  -------Original Message-------
>>  From: Betsy Feuerstein <ecuador@midsouth.rr.com>
>>  Subject: Re: [ferns] Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases
>>  Sent: 10 Apr '06 13:20
>>  I have had remarkably good results getting filmy ferns to live in small
>>  and big containers. I use a soilless mix for the medium. I may add some
>>  charcoal or not and I keep it closed by using a good quality of Saran
>>  wrap. The lighter weight sarans have a far greater air exchange and the
>>  terrariums seemed to dry out very fast, ie. death. I use Saran so I can
>>  dampen the outer surface and press the Saran onto the wet area to make a
>>  seal keeping the moisture in. I put the containers either under lights
>>  or on a window ledge. I try to not let the containers be in a situation
>>  where the heat builds up like in a greenhouse, ie. avoid direct sun if
>>  possible. I have done this for years using round fish bowls and regular
>>  aquariums. I prefer a glass surface to a plastic because the Suran
>>  sticks and seals better. A mister bottle is a good way to water. I have
>>  some I have not opened for years and others tend to need water from time
>>  to time. You can also use good closing zip-lock bags when desperate.
>>  Good luck. Betsy
>>  Brian Swale wrote:
>>  >John wrote
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >>I've had what looks suspiciously like a filmy fern appear in in one of 
>> my
> older
>>  >>gametophyte pots. I sowed the pot over four years ago with mixed filmy
> fern
>>  >>spore I had collected just over a week previously on one of my trips 
>> to
> New
>>  >>Zealand ( where I grew up ). The pot lives in a plastic bag and this 
>> is
> the
>>  >>first sporeling from that sowing that has a filmy fern look about it. 
>> The
> bush
>>  >>on my parents' farm was carpeted with various filmy ferns, so I'd like 
>> to
> think
>>  >>I've a reasonable chance of being able to recognise one when I see it.
>>  >>
>>  >>Does anybody have any suggestions on how to deal with filmy ferns? The
> humidity
>>  >>here in Sweden is far too low most of the time, so I'm considering
> setting up a
>>  >>Wardian Case using a small aquarium to house the fern. I've got a 
>> coolish
> corner
>>  >>under some stairs and a short distance from a window on the shady side 
>> of
> the
>>  >>house lined up for the case. A small leafy liverwort has appeared in 
>> the
> same
>>  >>pot, so that'll probably end up there as well. I am a bit worried 
>> about
> mold, is
>>  >>there anything else I should be watching out for?
>>  >>
>>  >>The fern seems quite happy where it is, so I'm not going to rush 
>> things -
> it
>>  >>only needs one failure to wipe out my entire stock of the fern.
>>  >>
>>  >>cheers, John.
>>  >>
>>  >>
>>  >
>>  >I have used a variety of small air-tight containers for high-humidity
> ferns, with
>>  >mixed success, and usually ultimate failure.  Even large perspex
> containers
>>  >in the end resulted in failure, for a variety of  reasons.
>>  >
>>  >It is very easy to fail to maintain the cultures. They are easy to
> overlook.
>>  >Neglect is another name for it ;-((
>>  >
>>  >In nature, they are regularly washed by rain to remove slime moulds and
> the
>>  >like, and this doesn't happen in small terraria or Wardian cases. Also,
> in
>>  >nature they have a plentiful supply of fresh air, and that is usually 
>> not
> what
>>  >applies in a case.
>>  >
>>  >I suppose it would be possible to make a case that provided for spray
>>  >irrigation and took away the overflow - leachate.
>>  >
>>  >Another aspect is the usual difficulty of keeping the glass etc clean.
> Often
>>  >this gets covered with green algae. Usually these cases are difficult 
>> to
> get at
>>  >the interior of.
>>  >
>>  >Many of the NZ species can take bright light for 30 minutes+  per day.
>>  >
>>  >Remember that many of the NZ species grow pendant from the trunks of 
>> tree
>>  >ferns where they may get dried a little during daylight hours. They are
> fussy
>>  >about their specific requirements though.
>>  >
>>  >Which reminds me; about the culture of Psilotum nudum. I have found 
>> that
> in
>>  >a house it is quite capable of invading pots of other genera; tuberous
>>  >Begonia, Nephrolepus, and so on, The spore floats around with great 
>> ease.
>>  >
>>  >The prothalli of this species and probably of Lycopodium spp live a
>>  >subterranean life. The discovery and scientific work on them was done 
>> by
> a
>>  >Rev. Holloway in the 1800's who botanised in his spare time..
>>  >
>>  >Brian
>>  >
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