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Growing Ferns eBook


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Growing Ferns eBook

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Growing Ferns eBook

A comprehensive guide to the fern genera, containing advice on how to grow and propagate them.

Title ImageGrowing Ferns

by John Mason
Growing Ferns eBook course online. A complete guide to growing Ferns. Review all the main genera and hundreds of species; discover how to propagate then, deal with pest and disease, grow in containers, and more. 158 pages. Around 100 colour photos

Second edition of this valuable reference book for enthusiasts. Includes culture, propagation, pests, a directory etc. PLUS a directory to hundreds of fern varieties.

Heavily illustrated with stunning colour photos, 158 pages.


Part A 

1.  Discovering Ferns
  • Ferns as indoor plants
  • Ferns for problem areas
  • Getting to know ferns

2.  How to grow Ferns
  • Growing conditions
  • Soils and potting mixes
  • Maintenance

3.  In the Greenhouse
  • Environmental control
  • Greenhouses, Shade and Growing Structures
  • Temperature control

4.  Problems
  • Hygeine
  • Pests
  • Avoiding frost
  • Environmetal Problems
  • Safety with chemicals

5.  Propagation
  • Spore production
  • Vegetative production

6.  Growing Ferns in Containers
  • Types of Containers

Part B  - Directory of Ferns in Cultivation 
(Over 100 pages of photos, tables and plant descriptions covering a large proportion of fern genera found in cultivation)

Introduction to Ferns

Ferns are plants which are of unusual shape and growth habit which make them particularly interesting to study.

To most people ferns are very graceful and lush and invoke an image of coolness, calmness and peacefulness. Though lacking flowers they have enormous variety in plant size and form and in the texture, shape and color of the fronds. Ferns are very adaptable and can be grown in a wide variety of situations. While most prefer moist, shaded conditions there are ferns that are suited to open sunny positions, growing naturally in rocky crevices, exposed coastal cliffs, high on living tree trunks or on fallen trees, in alpine bogs, even in semi arid areas. Some species of ferns are tiny with fronds only one cell thick, others can reach a height of 15m or more. Some ferns will spread to form huge colonies, while others will grow like climbers.

Initially ferns need water during their early development from spore to full adult plant. But once growing in the soil, some ferns are very hardy. Different ferns tolerate different climatic extremes, especially considering they have been around since the beginning of time. Some can survive prolonged drought in semi-desert conditions and others are adapted to surviving under feet of snow. 

They are great indicators of the natural balance in their environment. Growing only when the conditions are right to their preferable niche. They are often used in environmental surveys of flora as a measurement of the environments condition. If the native species for that area are not surviving, then it is an indication things are out of balance.

It is a real treat to find small pockets of ferns in areas you would not expect and to find much rarer species than you thought could be available. 


The identification of ferns is full of contradictions. Many of the experts throughout the world have conflicting viewpoints on what different ferns should be called. The information on fern varieties in this magazine attempts as much as possible to use the botanical names most commonly accepted.

Ferns make up the class Filicopsida and can be further sub divided into subdivided into four classes according to morphology, structure and reproduction method:

Filicopsida – true ferns

Psilotopsida, Lycopsida, Equisetopsida – fern allies.

Most ferns are shade loving plants of moist places.  There are exceptions though, and fern species can be found in most environments across the world, except the absolute extremes of desert and arctic areas.

There are 10,000-12,000 species of ferns throughout the world. They are widely distributed globally with the greatest species concentration in the humid tropics where the environment is ideally suited for ferns and their need for moist/wet environments.

Some species of ferns are tiny, while others can reach a height of 40 ft.

Ferns are identified largely by the shape of their fronds or leaves.

Fronds can be strap like or undivided, or feathery in appearance like many of the palms (ie. divided). Fronds are described as being 1, 2 or 3 pinnate according to the degree to which a single frond is divided into smaller "leaflets". A 3 pinnate frond will have a much finer texture and smaller leaflets than a 1 pinnate frond.
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