What Is A Fern Pine?
Africa’s most popular tropical plant, the African fern (Ficus carica) is native to Africa and other parts of West and Central Africa. It grows up to 10 feet tall with a spread of 6 feet or more. Ficus carica is one of the best known trees in the world because it has been used for centuries as a decorative motif, ornamental tree, shade tree, and even a source of food.
African ferns are not true firs, but rather they belong to the genus Ficus. They have many characteristics of true firs such as upright branches, large leaves, and twigs. However, unlike their northern cousins they do not grow in dense stands. Instead they prefer open spaces where they can spread out and thrive. Their flowers are small and white, which makes them attractive to birds.
The name “fern” comes from the Latin word ficare meaning “to bend.” These plants are actually related to the laurel family (Laurus). There are several species of ferns, but only two make up the genus Ficus. One of these is the common fern (F. carica) and the other is the weeping fern (F.
benjamina). The common fern likes warm, dry climates while the weeping fern thrives best in warmer temperatures with high humidity.
Many years ago, the African fern was brought to many parts of the world such as North America, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. It has become popular in subtropical regions because it can withstand extreme heat and droughts. It is a very hardy plant that can grow in many types of soil and even grows well in heavy clay. It is also an excellent windbreak that protects other plants from excessive winds and sandstorms.
In the United States, ferns are most abundant in the southern states, especially Florida, Texas, and California. In these areas, they grow wild and are cultivated as landscape plants. They can be grown as individual specimens or used for screening. They can also be trained to grow up trees or pillars. They are very hardy and can survive in most types of landscapes.
They usually flower in the spring, but sometimes they will bloom again in the summer. Their white flowers are small and not particularly showy.
The leaves of the fern are divided into many thin segments, which is why they are called ferns. They can vary in size and color depending on the variety and maturity of the plant. One of the most common types, the California fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), has leaves that are 2 to 3 feet long and grow in a triangular shape. The green color fades to yellow, tan, and silver when they get old. This gives the plant a cascading effect.
When grown as a houseplant, they require the same care as other tropical plants. They need lots of light, warm temperatures, and moist soil. It is best to put them in a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil should be light and porous. Perlite, peat moss, or sand can be added to regular potting soil to ensure proper aeration.
The soil should be moist but not soggy. Overwatering is just as harmful as underwatering since both will likely cause the roots to rot.
The fern can be placed in a location that gets direct sunlight for at least a few hours each day or it can remain in its present location. If it is kept where it doesn’t get any sunlight, it won’t flower. However, the plant can tolerate a few hours of sun each day even if the rest of the time is spent in the shade.
The watering of this plant is also critical. If there isn’t enough water, the fronds will begin to turn brown and will fall off. If there is too much water, they will turn yellow and soggy and will probably develop root rot.
The type of pot that the plant is grown in can affect its need for watering. Plants that are grown in plastic or clay pots can dry out a little quicker than those grown in porous materials such as bark or grow cubes. If you live in a humid area and the plant is growing in a porous container, it may need water more frequently than if it was planted in a non-porous container. You will have to monitor the potting mixture to see if it is dry or wet. You will most likely be able to feel if the soil is moist.
Another method is to lift the plant and check the weight of the pot after watering. A light pot means that it has dried out and needs water.
You should never let the pot sit in a tray of water. This can cause the roots to rot.
You can fertilize the plant monthly with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer. It is best to apply the fertilizer right at the base of the plant near the soil. Since the roots are near the top, it is not necessary to water the fertilizer into the soil. If you have a shrub that is potted, you should add the fertilizer when you re-pot it. Follow the instructions on the package for the amount to use.
It is always best to check the instructions on the plant’s tag that you bought it because all plants are different. If you are in doubt as to whether or not your plant needs water, it is best not to water it. Then wait until the next day to see if the leaves begin to wilt. This will tell you that it is time to water it.
You can prune the fern at any time of the year. However, if you are going to fertilize it, you should do this in the spring and then again in the summer. If you are going to prune it, you should do this in the early spring before new growth appears.
Ferns reproduce through spores that are contained in small packets on the underside of each frond. The color of the spore packet can vary from green to brown. The spores are released when the frond snaps off at the quick as it grows. When this happens, you will notice a small dusting of spores on the soil and on the leaves of other ferns nearby.
The quick is the small white bit that you see in the center of the stem near the base of each frond. It is a very vascular part of the plant and sends nutrients to the frond.
The fern spore is very light and can travel great distances on the wind to settle and begin new plants. Once they land, they begin to grow little skinny roots that find their way into any tiny cracks in the soil.
The polypody fern does reproduce from spores, but not as abundantly as some of its cousins and takes longer for them to grow to maturity. Most of the plants that are sold by nurseries have been started from spores that were grown in a lab and then planted into a sterile medium to grow into a plant that is large enough to sell.
If you should have a plant that does not bloom, it is not dead or dying. They do not bloom every year and when they do, they don’t all bloom at the same time. You will have to wait a year or two before they start blooming again.
If you are concerned that your plant may not be getting the proper lighting it needs to bloom, you can place the pot in a sunny window.
You can also place the entire pot in a shallow pan of water like you would for African Violets. This will allow the roots to soak up some of the water and nourish the plant until it is ready to bloom again.
There are several different types of ferns that have been bred for their foliage. Some of these are the Crown of Thorns, Christmas, Mauna Loa, andursive, and the Cinnamon.
Almost all ferns will thrive in a shady spot, but only some of them can tolerate full sun. If you wish to grow a fern in a sunny location, it would be best to pick one that is known to tolerate full sun.
Another consideration is the soil that you will plant the fern in. Most ferns will grow in the average soil. However, some of them will grow in soil that is not quite as rich as they would prefer. It is these plants that are most likely to suffer if grown in a shadier location.
If you live in a cooler area and you wish to plant your fern outside, it would be best to wait until all danger of the ground freezing has past. This is because ferns are very sensitive to frost and may be killed if a late frost hits.
There are several types of ferns that can be grown in containers. These include Adiantum, Aspidium, Dicksonia, Nephrolepis, and Polystichum. You can find these at your local nursery or garden center.
If you are growing your fern in a container, it is best to use a pot that has a hole in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out. This will prevent the pot from rotting and staining the soil underneath.
When watering your fern, it is best to let the soil dry out slightly before giving it more water. Overwatering can cause the rhizome of the plant to rot and the plant will then die. On the other hand, if there is not enough water, the leaves will begin to yellow and wither and the plant may also die.
If you are using a pot without a drainage hole you will need to water a little more frequently. Check the bottom of the pot to see if it has started to soften. If so, then you will need to drain some of the water out. You can do this by placing the entire pot in a saucer or deep bowl and then removing the pot once most of the water has drained out. This prevents you to soil from being washed out with the water.
You can fertilize your fern every couple of months during the growing season. However, it is best to use a half-strength fertilizer that is high in pottasium. This will help prevent the leaves from developing a burned looking spot in the center.
Sources & references used in this article:
To Whom It May Concern by JS Hooker – 2013 – pascal.sannet.gov
Impressions of South Africa by J Bryce – 2020 – books.google.com
The ferns of Florida: a reference and field guide by G Nelson – 2000 – books.google.com
Taking care of what we have: Participatory natural resource management on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua by P Christie, D Bradford, R Garth, B Gonzalez… – 2000 – books.google.com
Safe infant sleep interventions: what is the evidence for successful behavior change? by RY Moon, FR Hauck, ER Colson – Current pediatric reviews, 2016 – ingentaconnect.com
A Tibetan-English Dictionary: with special reference to the prevailing dialects, to which is added an English-Tibetan vocabulary by HA Jäschke – 1987 – books.google.com
The farm in the Karoo, or, What Charley Vyvyan and his friends saw in South Africa by MA Carey-Hobson – 1883 – books.google.com