Honey, I Shrunk The Fern!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

In my earlier post, I have tried to experiment shrinking the size of my Bird's Nest Fern as the plant is taking a lot of my garden space.


After I chopped the root shorter, the new leaves grew narrower and smaller. Much later, I repotted the rosette into a small shallow pot with very little soil at the bottom. The fern has grown back to a healthier state with nice propotionate foliage shape now.
Henceforth, I am pleased to report that the method really worked, as to-date (ten months later) the leaves are still a quarter of its original size!



Happy experimenting with plants in your garden :-)

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28 comments

  1. Delightful post--I got a good chuckle out of the title, and your plant looks great.

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  2. Yap, I often saw this plant growing very wide and big. Am I right about that we can eat its new and small leaves?

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  3. Muggle, I have never heard of that. So, I don't think we can eat those leaves :-D

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  4. Good to know the method, Steph. I'd better shrink my fern too.

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  5. You are right Steph. Plants do react to our treatment, We want them to grow small, they will do so.. haha. So we can do bonsai even to fern ha! I have a similar fern here, still in a small pot. I dont think they will grow any bigger. ~bangchik

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  6. I actuelly had one Bird Nest Fern once, but finally gor rid of it when it became to big for my windowscreen. What a pity I didn't know I could cut back the roots.
    Enjoy your weekend :)

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  7. Great tip, I'll have to try that sometime as I don't have much garden space.

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  8. Interesting post! I have made my bird's nest fern into a hanging plant.

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  9. neat! I'm glad it worked! I can see why you'd want to keep the fern despite the size - it's a beauty.

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  10. The title of this post is catchy. Yay! You have a good tip which I will find it handy soon. I now have 2 small little birds nest ferns growing in my garden. I am now observing its growth.

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  11. Very nicely done. Sometimes they do not recover the shock and may die - so you must have the surgeon's hand to do this (lol)

    You can actually hang them instead of putting them in a pot without soil, they can just manage that even without soil.

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  12. Great job steph. Fern is looking great. I wish i could gather such courage to do things like that.

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  13. Wow Stephanie, I had two and they both died from being in too much sun. I had planted them in a tree and the afternoon sun was too much for them. I never knew you can cut them back like this. You do have gifted hands!

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  14. lotusleaf, oh yes I see people doing that. The fern would like flying saucer :-D But my garden is too hot for this method. So, James, for the same reason, I prefer to have some soil below.

    Mia, Diane, Ha Xuan, remember to cut those big leaves away as well.

    Bangchik, they can grow big even in small pots but very slowly.

    Muhammad Khabbab, islandgal246, actually I was like 'butchering' the plant ha, ha.. Yes got to have great courage and strength he, he...

    Autumnbelle, good luck on your two ferns. I am sure they will do well under your care.

    Wendy, Jodi, yup, the fern looks green and nice all the time :-)

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  15. Oi, Stephanie, seu jardim está cada vez mais lindo!
    Estava tentando organizar os posts do Multivias, quando um post antigo, "Borboleta Verde" saiu na data de hoje. Ele faz parte da Série Via Natureza 22. Seu comentário ficou lá.
    Uma semana de muito verde e paz!

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  16. Hi Stephanie. I love the look of the birds nest fern. Generally this is an epiphytic fern growing to huge proportion on trees. They send their seed everywhere they can find a little moist soil, like gutters etc. It looks fresh and healthy in the pot.

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  17. Wow.. you're so skillful!!! Really takes patience and passion to do something like that :)

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  18. G'day Stephanie,
    I was wondering if you're interested to start a gardening column with our newspaper? If you are, please contact me at suaziz@nstp.com.my. I look forward to your reply. Su Aziz.

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  19. Haha lovely title Steph. BTW i will call you Stefi next time, i like its sound. Remember i posted the bird's nest too last time. Actually these ferns dont need soil, you can just hang them under a tree with screened light and they will florish. When they are already big you can trade them off with landscape gardeners who need them as accents in big parks, then you can again have many smaller ones to care for. Dont give them soil and too much moisture so it will not get big fast. Remember, you seem like torturing the plant when you do that again!!! haha

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  20. yeah, I thought it would also be hot all the time, where you are... but to be honest, it's not often that we have this much snow. Most years we hardly have any...

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  21. These ferns do take up a lot of space. Great idea about planting it in a pot! And I love the title of your post!

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  22. Ha Ha! This is a good tip... I am going to do some experimenting with some of my plants now. Hope I don't kill 'em. I rather envy your bravery...
    Rosey

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  23. Nice experimentation there Steph. Perhaps you will have a Bonsai fern when you are done!

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  24. Luisa, oh I see. Thanks for letting me know and putting this note here. Have fun photographing nature :-)

    Sarah, Deborah, thanks for your compliments. This fern really grows well in the tropics where there are plenty of sunshine and rain.

    Su, sure!

    Titania, yes I see them everywhere on trees here as well. They look naturally nicer on trees.

    Andrea, that's a good option! I would take note of this next time :-)

    Kanak, thanks! After I wrote this post I recalled 'Honey, I Shrunk Kids' movie. Then, I thought everyone would find it funny if I shrunk the fern he, he...

    Rosey Pollen, start with hardy plants first ;-).

    Prospero, I really hope that's the case :-D

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  25. Wah, you've taught us all something new. Everyone's going to shrink their ferns now, including me!

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  26. Very interesting. especially for those gardener with limited space, many of us probably want to shrink our plants so we can grow more in our gardens haha :D

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