Fern Facts: Learn All About Ferns
Fern Plants have been around for millions of years and are some of the oldest plants on earth. Fossils of ferns date back to the Devonian period, which was over 360 million years ago. Ferns were very common during the Mesozoic era, which was between 251 and 65.5 million years ago. This was the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Ferns declined in popularity during the Cenozoic era, which was between 65.5 and 2.6 million years ago. This was the time when mammals started to dominate the earth. Ferns are still around today and are a popular plant to grow in gardens and homes.
Fern Size Ranges
Ferns come in a wide range of sizes, from the smallest species that is only a few centimeters tall to the giant tree ferns that can grow up to 20 meters tall. The majority of fern species are somewhere in the middle, ranging from 30 centimeters to 2 meters in height.
Ferns in the Wild
Ferns can be found all over the world, in a wide range of habitats. They are most commonly found in humid tropical regions, but can also be found in temperate and even arctic climates. Ferns can be found growing on the ground, on rocks, in trees, and even in water.
Ferns as Houseplants
New York Fern makes popular houseplants because they are relatively easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of indoor environments. There are many different species of ferns that can be found in nurseries and garden centers.
Ferns in Folklore and Culture
Ferns have been mentioned in folklore and culture for centuries. In many cultures, ferns are associated with magic and mystery. In Europe, ferns were once thought to only bloom at night and were said to have magical properties. In New Zealand, the Maori people believe that ferns have the power to heal.
Early Stages of Growth in Ferns
Ferns start their life as spores, which are tiny, dust-like particles. The spores are produced by the fern plant and are released into the air. When the spores land in a suitable location, they start to grow. Ferns do not have seeds like most other plants. The first stage of growth for a fern is a tiny, plant-like structure called a gametophyte. The gametophyte produces the next generation of fern plants, which are called sporophytes. The sporophytes produce the spores that will grow into new fern plants.
How Often Should You Water Your Fern?
Ferns like to be kept moist, but not soggy. Water your fern when the top inch of soil is dry. If you are not sure whether your fern needs water, stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, it is time to water. If it feels damp or wet, leave it for a day or two before checking again.
Fertilizing Your Fern
Ferns do not need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually be harmful to ferns. If you want to fertilize your fern, use a half-strength solution of liquid fertilizer every month during the growing season.
Pruning Your Fern
Ferns do not need to be pruned, but you can remove any dead or dying leaves as needed. You can also trim back any overgrown or leggy ferns to encourage new growth.
Propagating Your Fern
Ferns can be propagated by division or by spores. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the fern and divide the root ball into two or more sections. Replant the sections in separate pots filled with moist potting soil. To propagate by spores, wait until the plant produces spores and then collect them. Sow the spores on the surface of moist potting soil and keep the soil moist. The spores will germinate and grow into new fern plants.
Common Pests and Diseases
Ferns are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they can occasionally be affected by aphids, scale insects, or mealybugs. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Ferns can also be affected by fungal diseases, such as root rot or powdery mildew. These diseases can be controlled with fungicidal sprays.
Interesting Facts about Ferns
- Ferns are one of the oldest groups of plants on earth, with fossils dating back over 360 million years.
- There are over 12,000 species of ferns.
- Ferns can be found all over the world, in a wide range of habitats.
- Ferns do not have seeds like most other plants. Instead, they reproduce with tiny spores.
- Ferns have been mentioned in folklore and culture for centuries. In many cultures, they are associated with magic and mystery.
- Ferns like to be kept moist, but not soggy. Water your fern when the top inch of soil is dry.
- Ferns do not need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually be harmful to ferns.