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RE: fern id

Thanks Marge-
I have a fern which may or may not be the same variety as yours, it did fine
last summer under a large tree in my front yard, and did get very late
afternoon sun for maybe 2 hours.  I'll be looking to see if it makes a
comeback this year.  (If I move some of the leaves out of the way, I'd
probably already know the answer- jsut ahven't had time).  At least now I
know what will make it happy if it does return.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 11:48 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] fern id

> From: Theresa- yahoo <tchessie@yahoo.com>
> So Marge- how do you care for your rabbit's foot fern??

Well, Theresa, first of all, I repotted it in a large clay pot lined
with regular old treebark (as a substitute for redwood, I think it
was that was recommended)  They like bark and I had many slabs of it
- probably locust but could have been oak, rotting away in my log
pile, so figured I would use some as my chances of getting redwood
bark were slender.

Then, when I put it outside for the summer under our covered walk, I
put it at the south edge where it gets direct sun for several hours a
day - slanted, not straight overhead as it is under a roof overhang,
but the sun hits the fronds.

It now winters in the greenhouse, with good light (east facing,
fluorescent shop lights on 24x7) and high humidity although temps are
quite chilly; does not seem to mind getting down to 40F; will not
take freezing, however, so I have it at the warm end of the g.h.  It
probably stays fairly close to 50F where it is located.

Prior to this, while I was killing it, I had it in the house in
winter - too dry an atmosphere and not enough light - and summered it
in deep shade....it's a fern, right? so likes shade....WRONG.  This
fern wants some sun.  It was in a plastic pot in whatever mix it had
been growing in when I received it.  You never saw such a sad puppy
of a fern in your life.  Of course, when it was given to me, it was
just fine, but after a year, it had dwindled to about 3 rhizomes and
3 fronds...pathetic.

It responded by putting out new growth like crazy and running its
furry little rhizomes over the side of the pot - they now embrace it
all around; don't know if I can ever repot it again:-)  Has been
going strong now for 2 years, so think it must be happy.

I was told by one person growing it in S CA, that it did not mind
drying out, but I water mine regularly.  The potting mix drains very
freely - think I added some large chunks of bark to that, as well.
And, of course, a clay pot dries out quickly.  In summer it is hosed
down every day; in winter I water the g.h. about once a week.  As
temps climb (like now) it gets watered about every 3 days and by May,
when I empty the g.h., I'll be watering every day.

I also give it a weak feed of diluted liquid fish emulsion and
seaweed now and again...seems to like that.

The real changes were the winter humidity and increased light levels
- as well as the bark pot lining.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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