Woodwardia Orientalis

A few tips about growing Woodwardia Orientalis which is the most beautiful of all of the Giant Chain Ferns. Woodwardia Orientalis does not like temperatures under 50 F degrees. It can survive 40 F degrees if it is very big, but it does not like to go dormant. You should try to dig them up if possible and plant them in the house during the winter. They like a lot of humidity but not soggy soil. They like fast draining soil with sand and compost. They like both heat and shade. They are happy even at temperatures outside of 120 F degrees if they have mostly shade. The strong sun will burn them. They come from rain forests in China, and so they like those conditions. The only way to reproduce is by division. I have tried to clone them using the baby ferns that grow on the leaves and it has never worked. Once you have one big enough you should divide it in two as often as possible to gain more ferns as insurance in case some die. It is hard to buy new ones. They are almost never in stock online and rarely seen in the stores. I believe the fussy nature of the ferns makes nurseries refuse to stock them. I have two of growing right now, and this is the spring season. I kept them indoors during the winter, and I am looking forward to good growth in my new fern garden. When I lived in San Francisco they still needed to be inside in the winter. The only place they would grow well in the winter outdoors would be Florida or Hawaii. The winter is when the run the risk of dying. A green house would be ideal if you have one. They are big plants with a big root ball and they like a large pot. I would like to have a large green house if I had more space for one.

If you would like to see the plants I grew in San Francisco including Woodwardia Orientalis I have them hosted on Flickr.

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