Raising Ferns From Seed

Comparatively few gardeners raise ferns from seed, though the operation is really quite simple, and can be carried through successfully even in a living room. The seeds or spores, to be strictly accurate, are to be found on the underside of the frond. The spores are too minute to be visible individually to the naked eye, but can be seen as brown dust.

They must be sown when fully ripe, and the best way to do this is to wait until the " dust" is ready to drop when the frond is touched, and then to take pieces of the frond and lay them, right side up, on prepared seed pans.

fern in greenhouse

Use deep pans or pots, half full of drainage material, and then fill with the ordinary seed sowing compost, with perhaps rather more sand than usual, and made very fine on the surface. If brick or flower-pot, broken to pea size or smaller, can be used as drainage material, the pan can stand in an inch of water until the spores germinate. After this there is no difficulty in potting out and growing the young plants, provided a compost similar to that needed for adult plants is used, with a little emphasis on the amount of sand in it.

The question of heat depends of course on the ferns to be raised; hardy ferns need no artificial heat, while most of the ferns usually grown is rooms need a little bottom heat to start them on their way.

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