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boston fern w/ aerial roots ??

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by albany_park on July 10, 2006 07:21 AM

I have a healthy fern that I "think" is a Boston fern, I got it when it was quite small last winter and it had no tag on it, so I don't know for exactly what it is. (It might be one of the hybrids that are similar to a Boston fern but I'm not sure.) It's been growing pretty well, and the fronds are about 10" now. I have a question, which is that it seems to be putting out "roots" or stalks without leaves on them. These are thin, light green and threadlike, they are about the same length as the regular fronds, and they kind of look like "roots" which are just growing out of the pot. Or could they be something like a "flower"? Has anyone seen this?

many thanks in advance,

by DowntoEarth on July 10, 2006 01:54 PM
Yep, my Boston ferns has some of those leafless stems. I think they are called stolons.You can propagate by those stolons for more plants I think.
I have been told that where the "stolons" contact soil, a new plant forms, but I have never tried it.

by prairie girl on July 12, 2006 04:29 PM
i think left to the plants' own devices the stolons would be the next ferns to grow.
the stolons would grow laterally beside the original plant and a new plant would grow from that stolon.

if you have seen any ferns outdoors propagate, you would find that if you had to pull one out that it would not be a surprise that you start pulling out it's neighbour!

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by Audsrose on July 19, 2006 07:02 AM
Yes that is exactly what they are aerial roots. I have a boston fern sitting on top of my file cabinet here at work and it has sent out many of these arial roots. Normall I cut them off but one day decided to leave some. One of them reached out to a another flower pot I have about a foot away and when it touched the surface, I now have a new boston fern growing. If you want more plants, place pots of soil under these arial roots, if not, cut them off, it does not hurt the plant at all.


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