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Growing Xerophytic (Arid-Loving) Ferns

By Dave Seigler

Edited for the internet by Bubba Baxter

Most of them aren't easy to grow. A light mix with lots of peat moss works for many of them. But apparently they are very sensitive to edaphic conditions and some may require high light. I was never able to keep most of them going for more than a couple of years. The spores of many will germinate readily when sprinkled on inverted flower pots stuffed full of peat moss and placed into petri dish bottoms and covered with a beaker. Quite a few will even produce sporophytes that can be transferred into pots. Mr. Knipfer at the U. of Texas greenhouse recommended the following mixture for potting soil. It works about as well as anything I've found: 7 parts sand, 12 parts peat moss, 3 parts perlite, 4 parts vermiculite, and 1/4 part bone meal. But all in all, except for a few of the most common species, I'd recommend that people not dig these up and try to grow them ... unless they have some reason to do so. Unless methods for long term cultivation are perfected, most are difficult to grow and many are found in only limited populations and may be endangered or threatened.

Hope this helps, regards, Dave Seigler.