Sowing ferns


The best results can be achieved by sowing the spores into the containers, Sowing into the soil (in the garden) is majorly uncertain, and the percentage of plants obtained is minimal. The container (usually plastic or ceramic one), is filled to 2/3 with light and permeable soil. A peat substrate with the addition of fine sand, humous forest soil etc., are very suitable. I do not recommend heat sterilization or any other type of soil sterilization as the natural soil microflora suits the fern sowing very well. The spores are always sown on the surface of lightly moist soil and preferably sparsely because too dense sowings often tend to get attacked by moulds. It is also necessary to ensure high air humidity that is why I recommend covering the sowing containers with glass or a plastic foil. The sowing must never get completely dry. The containers should be placed on a light place but without direct sunlight, with a temperature 10-25 °C for frost-resistant and subtropical species and 15-30 °C for tropical species. Temperature fluctuations (day-night) are very beneficial, and some alpine species even require them for successful growth and development. The first signs of germination, visible as little green petals, can be often seen after a few days, usually within three weeks. However, the germination can sometimes take a bit longer therefore do not dispose of seemingly unsuccessful sowings prematurely. During this period, it is necessary to spray the sowing often with the sprayer as it helps the fertilization process. In that period, the sprouts (the first development stage) can be separated and replanted because they are not sensitive to manipulation. The replanting can be, of course, done later as well, when the plants are larger and easier to manipulate. In next, approximately four weeks, it is possible to observe the growth of the first Sporophytes (the true leaves). The further development is relatively fast. The drought-loving species should be ventilated often, and we let them dry out more. The moisture-loving species need high air and soil humidity, we will begin with hardening (ventilation) later.