Propagate Your Ferns

Divide your ferns

There are two main ways to Propagate Bird Nest Ferns. You can divide them and replant them or you can grow them from the spores which are found on the backs of their fronds.

As you can see in the picture below this Bird Nest Fern is in bad need of some tender loving care. I am going to give this plant new life, by dividing it into two or more plants and replanting it in some new healthy soil.

Frugal Gardening - Birds Nest Fern Badly needs RepottingCredit: TPhotos

 

 

If you have one in your home then this article could help as I will show you step by step how to propagate a bird nest ferns in this article.

Things Required for Replanting

Use Good Potting Mix

Collect these items before you start to replant your plants

  • Mulch and Fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Leaves or similar for drainage
  • Tray to mix soil
  • Clean Pots
  • Secateurs
  • Sharp knife
  • Good quality potting mix

Frugal Gardening - Mixing organic soil and fertilizerCredit: TPhoto

Steps to Divide Your Plants

Sterilize your pots

If possible turn the planter pot on its side and tap side of the pot to loosen soil then tip out onto a clean tray. Look carefully at the fern to see how many plants you can make. If it is a solid plant you should be able to cut into 3 or 4 equal parts.

Using the knife make clean cuts making sure that each section has adequate roots. If insufficient roots then divide into two halves.

Cut all fronds back to a height of 15cm above the crown to keep the strength in the roots. Put the divided plants aside and prepare the soil.

Sterilizing Pots 

When replanting from one pot to another it is important to sterilize the pots before use. Old or even new pots that are stored can attract parasites, bacteria or larva eggs that could destroy your new plants.


A safe way to sterilize your pots is with a solution of half vinegar and half water. Immerse pots into this solution for at least an hour then wash thoroughly and rinse with warm water.

Frugal Gardening - Steralize Pot and Add leavesCredit: TPhotos

As you can see in the above picture I had not sterilized this picture when taking the photo.

Preparing the Soil

Ferns Need Good Fertilizer

Use good quality potting mix using some soil from existing plant onto tray. Then add some good organic fertilizer and mix thoroughly together.

Place old leaves in the base of clean sterilized pots to create drainage. Bird Ferns need to have good drainage in their pots.

These ferns love being planted in a minimum of organic material. So be careful not to plant too deep as they need planting close to the top of the soil.

Plant your divided ferns with the crowns of the plant still showing above the soil. Water well and leave in a shaded area.

Frugal Gardening - Divided and Replanted PlantsCredit: TPhotos

This photo was taken before I realized that I had forgotten to cut the fronds shorter.

Propagating from Spores

Spores are the dots on back of leaves

If you look at the back of the fronds of your fern you will notice the sporangia and that it is ready to release its spores.

Cut the frond off with a sharp knife and lay on clean white paper or cloth for collection of spores.

Shake several spores on the top of a small pot of sterilized seed mix. Cover with cling wrap and spray with a mist of water twice a week. When sprouted (like moss) Lift out and re-plant in small clumps on top of another pot of sterilized seed mix.

When small plants shoot transplant into small seed pots and replant as they grow larger.

How to Prepare Your Garden for The Holidays

If you are thinking of going away for the holidays, you may wish to think about preventing all those weeds from growing while you are away.  I know when we went away for two weeks everything was okay, although my Mum and Dad went off for two months and the weeds were about six foot tall when they returned.  The best way to do this is to use newspaper and lay out in between your plants, preventing weeds from growing in between. You can also use cardboard and if preferred place some mulch over the top to make it look better.

Other Ways To Propogate plants

Fern Crowns

Larger ferns can also be grown from crowns which appear at the base of fern. Separate and plant in new pots.

Fern Rhizomes

Runners or rhizomes often hang over the sides of hanging baskets.  These can be pulled off and replanted into new pots.  This is a quicker way of growing them than from spores.[1]

Now you have many different options for saving money and growing lots of different ferns.

Dividing House Plants