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Fern Invasion

This is a discussion on Fern Invasion within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Hello friends. I often find that ferns appear out of nowhere growing as guests in ...

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  1. #1
    Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Fern Invasion

    Hello friends. I often find that ferns appear out of nowhere growing as guests in my orchid pots... uninvited but not unwelcome. Bruce says the same happens at his place. Does anyone else have the same experience? I am interested in how common (or uncommon) this is.

    It further intrigues me that there are ferns whose spores are able to germinate AND their prothalli to develop and fertilise, AND the resulting juvenile sporophytes flourish... all in the harsh environment of the surface of orchid compost. These fern species must be very hardy and adaptable!

    Here are a few examples... as you can see, the colonisation has spread from the orchids to the Dicksonia.

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  2. #2
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    And another example... A year ago when my Blc Tainan Gold "Canary" was coming into flower its guest fern had grown into a handsome companion. Later, when repotting time came, I decided to separate the plants for their mutual benefit: things were becoming cramped. Wise move, it turned out... the fern is Nephrolepis multiflora- a large and vigorous species... in its native lands it is an agressive and noxious weed. It is certainly no slouch, and it sends out endless runners... and produces clouds of spores! For me this is pure bliss! (Fortunately I am not allergic.)

    Below are before and after shots: last year and this afternoon!

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    (Both normally hang from the roof-brace.)

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    I have the same problem. Weeding them out is something I have to do all the time.

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    eh, mine are all full up with ferns... i just clip em out when they get a bit too obnoxious... i was real fortunate to have a VERY interesting fern sprout up out of nowhere, its quite lovely, ill post a pic when i get a chance...it must have snuck in with one of my many 'little purchases'
    other than that i havent noticed my orchids giving a rats ass about their frondsy friends...
    now you want to talk about trouble...there is a vicious, immortal form of tiny clover that has invaded my balcony, dropped down from my upstairs neighbors halfassed attempt at gardening...she had a lovely arrangement of weeds that flourished throughout the year...raining their seeds of joy down on my shit... but im not bitter...not at all...

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    Spores do get into just about everything. I do not have a big problem with ferns showing up in my pots -- my conditions are too harsh I suspect. But it often is a problem in my terrarium. Last time I redid my terrs, I removed all ferns and have made a point to destroy and "seedling" ferns that now crop up. They are just too much of a "thug" in a terrarium.

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    I don't have any problems because I grow indoors, but I do get clovers time to time...
    Good Luck!
    Alex

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    I have ferns growing in my orchid pots and ferns growing out of little cracks in the concrete floor. It seems like once they've started nothing stops them. I have one little hole in the concrete slab where a fern keeps coming up. For years now I've pulled each new growth out to try and stop it but another one always appears again. I wish my orchids grew that well.

  8. #8
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    I don't think that the spores have floated in from no-where. There has to be the parent not far away, or alternatively the spores are in the compost. I get them growing on the brickwork of the greenhouse base, and in the debris/dirt which builds up where glass panes sit in the metal frames, and of course in the compost too ; sometimes I prick them out and grow them on separately , but they don't always like John Innes compost or peat and sand - the reason they grow elsewhere is because the spores found those other places simpatico !
    Last edited by Dorsetman; January 29th, 2012 at 12:42 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurphr View Post
    eh, mine are all full up with ferns... i just clip em out when they get a bit too obnoxious... i was real fortunate to have a VERY interesting fern sprout up out of nowhere, its quite lovely, ill post a pic when i get a chance...it must have snuck in with one of my many 'little purchases'
    other than that i havent noticed my orchids giving a rats ass about their frondsy friends...
    now you want to talk about trouble...there is a vicious, immortal form of tiny clover that has invaded my balcony, dropped down from my upstairs neighbors halfassed attempt at gardening...she had a lovely arrangement of weeds that flourished throughout the year...raining their seeds of joy down on my shit... but im not bitter...not at all...
    Of course not Shane, perish the thought! (That poor girl... Bless.)

    Very interesting though... Your first paragraph mirrors my experiencs and observations completely. The Chilean moss I use brings with it a type of hitchiking sedge which germinates and suddenly there it is- which is a bit more of a nuisance than any fern.

    I would love to see that photo of your attractive fern lodger. My pteridologist buddy Peter may even identify it for us. Identification issues are mother's milk to him! He's awesome.

  10. #10
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    I once had a morning glory vine sprout in with my C. Leah Liedke x C. claesiana alba and it even began forming buds. I was going to pull out the morning glory vine after it fiished blooming because I thought the two blooming together would make for an interesting photo op. Lo and behold, one day I walk into the greenhouse and the morning glory vine was gone. I couldn't figure it out. Later that day, my husband (who randomly gets "interested" in my orchids) tells me "I pulled a weed out of one of your orchids for you." I was SO pissed!

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