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Growing Ferns

There are many different types of ferns and they grow in a variety of habitats. We will acquire as many different ways of growing various ferns as we are able for this page. If there is anyone who specializes in a particular fern and would like to submit an article for this page please email  Jordan Metzgar.

Common Ferns

These are the easiest ferns to grow from spore. They include most of the ferns that a hiker might see while walking through the woods. It is a good place to start!

Grape Ferns

Grape ferns are very difficult to grow from spores, in fact almost impossible for the hobbiest. This group of ferns is best grown from transplants. That should only be collected when there would be no damage to native populations of Botrychium and when they are not threatened.

Axenic culture for Grape Ferns

If you are very brave and have access to axenic compounds you may want to try Dr. Dean Whittier's method of growing these babies. He is one of the few people in the world that has had any success. It is again very difficult and takes a long time.

Whisk ferns

Psilotum was mistakenly thought to be one of the most primitive vascular plants alive because of its highly reduced morphology (e.g., it lacks roots and has highly reduced leaves). Its synangia (2-3 fused sporangia) are characteristic.

Schizaea pusilla

This is one of the most difficult ferns to grow in artificial conditions. In fact, as far as I know no one has done it. This is the best method developed so far. Good Luck.

Xerophytic (Arid Loving) Ferns

These are some of the most difficult ferns to grow in artificial conditions. This is one of the best methods developed so far. Good Luck.

Cultivation of Cheilanthes species

(with focus on Cheilanthes feei and Cheilanthes lanosa)

Hope Diamond and Lucinda Swatzell Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, MO 63701