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 Mexican tree fern 
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:08 am
Posts: 293
Location: Hangzhou, East China
Post Mexican tree fern
Here is my first propagation of this mexican tree fern--Alsophila mexicana(should be same as A.firma?). The spore was contributed by Steve, flying accross the Eurasian continent.
The progation started last mid-October. during the harsh middle winter, I put inside a plastic semi-trasparent container with a heating mat where it spend the coldest days. The temperature is maintained at 15-25C, although in some sunny winter afternoon, occassionallt roaring to 35C(When that happened, shut the heating mat immediately like put off fire!).
As the typical east Asian harsh winther is over, I put it out on the balcony, the temperature is over 5C at night, if less, I put inside like rescue. Till now.
Here it is from the start, middle, and present.
Image

Image


Image

Fern propagation is a patience consuming project, during the course, this mexican is the only survival of the first batches among which the Cibotium barometz, Sphaeropteris lepifera and Alsophila gigantea all surrender to mold.

It's a long way to go, isn't?

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George

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600km northwest of Diaoyu Island


Sun May 05, 2013 2:08 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Mexican tree fern
You've got some babies coming based on that last shot - now you just have to be patient and grow them on for another 5+ years to see something that resembles a tree fern.

I wonder about folks remarking they lose plants to mold - it has never been a problem for me. I do have problems with some species stalling out at the "lawn phase" though - Cyathea smithii and australis being the stand-outs. Time consuming work? You better believe it!

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Botany Boy


Sun May 05, 2013 11:02 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Tom Velardi wrote:
I do have problems with some species stalling out at the "lawn phase" though - Cyathea smithii and australis being the stand-outs. Time consuming work? You better believe it!


Yep. This happened to me years ago with some darn tootin' Cyathea dregei. They just sat there looking like that for a year. I said "f--- it, I'm barely patient enough to grow normal plants from seeds. These things are driving me crazy." After 18-20 months total, I tossed them out. In retrospect I wished I'd simmered down and given them more time. Because the packet I got from SHS recently didn't seem to be viable at all. :-(

Hopefully I've gotten over that. Rhododendrons are somewhat less agonizing but still require a great deal of patience, and no one else seems interested in making the sort of hybrids I want to make.


Mon May 06, 2013 1:07 am
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Location: Hangzhou, East China
Post Re: Mexican tree fern
the green hand is comming out just recently as the temperature climbs high, we are turning to the early summer, 30C is soon on the way.
Tom, what is your "lawn phase"?

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George

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Mon May 06, 2013 5:26 am
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Mexican tree fern
George wrote:
Tom, what is your "lawn phase"?


Just after germination before the prothalli grow when they look like moss. The trick is to keep them almost wet after the prothalli grow, but some of my *lawns* never produce them.

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Botany Boy


Mon May 06, 2013 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
It seems not in my case like that, maybe the viability of the spore is playing tricks.
In my failure case(barometz, lepifera ), none of the lawn case ever appears, and my spore is very fresh. In my early practices, the spore from ebay Austrilia never germinated at all, I quite doubt about there is true spore in that sachet. Dicksonia fibrosa, medulllaris, robertsiana all ended up with nothing.

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George

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Mon May 06, 2013 2:58 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Hi George, I book the best results when I'm sowing in the autumn, then i have the small ferns in the spring and then they are converted to the propagator, they are then potted in p.10 in June /July or if they are not large enough a year later, that depends if it is a hot spring, than this stops the growth or if it is too cold, best temp. is a stabile 20 º C.
Forever keep them moist, every week at a specific time spraying! You do have a good harvest :roll:
Gr. Ed.

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2016 min. -07.0ºC --- max. 35.4ºC
2017 min. -08.1ºC --- max. 34.7ºC


Mon May 06, 2013 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Thanks Eduard, I will record it's growth and share it to this forum. By no means i can surpass your growing pace.
The coming challege is the summer, I have no idea if they can sit through :x 35C+ will frequent 30days more.

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George

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Tue May 07, 2013 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Hey George, without a doubt, fresh spore is a must! Still, with some species I get great germination, but no sporlings. I used to get great spore off my C. australis and sow it immediately. The lawn grew and then just sat there doing nothing!

Like you, my climate is hard on little tree ferns, making the transition from small sporling size to an outdoor growing young plant very difficult. Mortality is high and the plants are very slow to grow. The reason is simple - too high temperatures.

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Botany Boy


Tue May 07, 2013 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
George, I'm thinking you sowed your spore way too thickly. I sometimes do the same thing. I would recommend dividing the gametophytes up among 4 to 7 pots of that same size. Otherwise, you're going to end up with weak and spindly sporophytes. In general, it's really important to avoid having all your eggs in one basket.

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Carlos - Epiphytes and Economics


Wed May 08, 2013 6:47 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Is sown close to each other, does not matter in fact, you will soon take the largest first out and put it in the cultvator, you can keep this seed medium a year and longer and continue to reap.
Gr. Ed.

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2016 min. -07.0ºC --- max. 35.4ºC
2017 min. -08.1ºC --- max. 34.7ºC


Wed May 08, 2013 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Yes, my spore is too thick, I have no better way to control the density of the spore, I used a cotton bud to dip the spore and tap to sow.
This will indeed to slow down the development, but i have no choice, there are too small to divide at present.
Eduard, when do you think to pick out the indivisual would be appropriate? At present I don'y water them at all, because the humidity inside the polybag.

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George

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Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 am
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Hi, for fertilization is spraying necessary, I do a weekly thin layer of boiled water [cool], the excess soil water let drain by keeping the tray diagonally, I take the plants out if they have at least 3 leaves, I take only the largest plants and push the little ones gently back into place, Then I spray everything good wet and I let it drain well again.
The culture you reduseren this way, I still plant young plants in the cultivotor sown in 2010, condition is that it should not be too hot!
Gr. Ed.

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2016 min. -07.0ºC --- max. 35.4ºC
2017 min. -08.1ºC --- max. 34.7ºC


Thu May 09, 2013 8:58 am
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Thanks for sharing your story, Eduard. I will take it.
Week 30, just spraying water a moment ago. You can see more fern is coming out. Most of them are coming from the pot edge, less crowded of course :lol: .

Image

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George

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Fri May 10, 2013 2:45 pm
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Post Re: Mexican tree fern
Now we come to this week of the fern, a ture frond is developped, with a visible hair.I'm not sure whther this is the frond of the tree fern,
The only one in the pot although the one next to it is apparently showing its fist to fight.

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George

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600km northwest of Diaoyu Island


Sat May 18, 2013 2:14 am
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