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Re: Japanese Painted Ferns

Hello group,
To further add to the confusion regarding the mature appearance of the
Japanese painted fern, I used to divide them for sale as well as use around my
yard. I would keep the best looking plants to grow on for division later. The
divisions came from two I had liked the best as mature ferns. In spite of
being clones, many of the divisions from the same fern were not uniform in
color or form after growing on in pots. There was a spectrum of differences in
appearance similar to those seen in a group of plants raised from spore, but
to a lesser degree. In most cases, fern divisions from the same plant, which
did look quite similar when grown in gallon pots, lost this similar appearance
as mature ferns when planted in a variety of locations.

My experience was that cultural conditions had a significant effect on the
color of this fern when mature. The color that these ferns developed and
retained over time after planting was influenced by the intensity of available
light, available moisture and a need for good drainage. Ferns with the best
color were those growing in bright indirect light, a loose soil with good
drainage and water as needed to keep the soil damp.
Ralph Archer in Louisville, KY USA

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