Stretching a Client's Plant Budget With Ferns
The most divided plant I do for most are Boston Ferns and Kimberly Ferns. These are 2 ferns that can be divided easily and fill up an empty pot. Plus Kimberly ferns get tall and can take some neglect during the summer. They grow fast and can tolerate morning sun and a bit of noon day sun here in zone 7 as long as they are well watered. Boston Ferns love the shade of an overhang on a porch or in a mighty Oak. They do not like to dry out but can be brought back from wilt.
I overwinter my Kimberly ferns and each year I have to man handle with the help of my brut of a husband to get them out of the humongous pots they are in. They grow tight in a pot which makes for some sweating and cussing to get them out. The Kimberly Ferns survived being in the garage despite the coldest temps on record for us here in VA. The looked sad and lost fronds but they survived which allows me to hack off parts of the original plant for clients.
Unlike my precious Japanese Painted Fern (or any other plant I may have in my gardens where I am gentle and treat them like my children)-I use a sharpened tool, shovel, or knife to cut the ferns. I find that both Boston and Kimberly have wire like tendrils and fronds that connect each other on top of the soil making it too much to try and pull apart. So I resort to a sharp knife on the Bostons while I sharpen my tool on the grinder to slice through the Kimberly.
I buy and divide every hanging fern. So instead of buying 2 ferns I buy one a split. This goes for most perennials and some annuals. That is why I scour the rows of plants to find the ones that look like there are 2 or more plants in the pot. I am all about saving and all about stretching my dollar. I hope this tutorial helps you stretch your gardening dollar.
Betty on May 16, 2020
I placed my Boston ferns on my back porch close to the house and they survived our SC winter. I occasionally watered them and on freezing nights threw an old sheet over them. Trimmed the brown fronds and fertilized them in spring and they are pretty. Plenty big to divide or put in larger pots.
Lois on Feb 19, 2021
I haven't tried dividing my Boston Ferns but this inspires me to try it this spring. I have kept them in the house for the winter where the t temperature is rarely above 70 degrees. I mist them daily and water them heavily - every 2 to 3 days.
I'm in central Ohio where the outdoor temperatures have been below zero and the garage temps have been near freezing but usually in the 40's.
I'm looking forward to splitting my BIG ferns this spring.
Thanks for the information.