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 fern suggestion 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:42 am
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Location: birmingham, UK
Post fern suggestion
I need suggestions for ferns that will grow in very small amounts of soil...preferably those which can grow in niches in walls. The only one that springs to mind is asplenium scolopendrium. It needs to be UK Hardy. It's similar to my last request re:climbers it will be growing in hypertufa suspended . I am willing to compromise on the size...I know it will not reach optimum size as long as it will be low maintenance i.e tolerant of drying out and look healthy. Any help or suggestion will be gratefully appreciated.

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:57 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
The hardy Polypodiums,Hardiest Pterus ferns like limestone as in mortar..tuffa is close. Adiantums seem to grow on nothing if the rock is wet. And I find that Pyrrosia hastata is worlds easier to grow then P.lingua. Its just starting to attach to a fake Roman column I have that is made of plaster of some sort..and as it dissolves over the years its got a patina of moss and now fern. Hardy to z7.
Steve must know millions of ferns. Where's he been?


Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:36 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Stan wrote:
The hardy Polypodiums,Hardiest Pterus ferns like limestone as in mortar..tuffa is close. Adiantums seem to grow on nothing if the rock is wet. And I find that Pyrrosia hastata is worlds easier to grow then P.lingua. Its just starting to attach to a fake Roman column I have that is made of plaster of some sort..and as it dissolves over the years its got a patina of moss and now fern. Hardy to z7.
Steve must know millions of ferns. Where's he been?


Thanks Stan. The tufa will dry out like in this heatwave we are having over here. Pyrrosia hastata looks very interesting It's borderline hardy according to the info on the net...saying zone 8b. I know these hardiness values and info can be iffy...I'll take your word for it being a zone 7 :D . I'll have to read up on it a bit more



I've been asking myself the same question re: the popemeister :cry

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:24 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Ceterach officinarum.

Alexander

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:47 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Cheilanthes species (lanosa, tomentosa ect.), Asplenium scolopendrium, A. trichomanes, A. ruta-muraria A. ceterach (= syn Ceterach officinarum.) ect. and indeed Polypodiums.
Good luck!

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Remko.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:45 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
I've seen Asplenium trichomanes growing by the hundred in the cracks of dry-stone walls in Western Ireland. Polypodium australe and P. vulgaris will also grow in crevices, although it takes patience waiting for them to get established. Same with Adiantum venustum.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:07 am
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Post Not all UK ferns need moist shade
Stan wrote:
Steve must know millions of ferns. Where's he been?

Just passively browsing these days, rather than posting. As you say, Stan, for Mo's conditions Polypodium vulgare and the more dry-tolerant Dryopteris types (D.affinis, etc) are proven survivors in apparently hostile spots. They'll even grow happily in stone crevices and brickwork and seemingly in full sun. I've seen some implausible colonies on the side of derelict Victorian buildings, often high up and taking advantage of long blocked guttering.

Don't suppose there's ever been a census, but I wouldn't mind betting that Polypodium setiferum and its many cultivars are THE most common garden fern in the UK, and typically found in the kind of spots Mo describes...

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...once established it's practically indestructible in sunny and dry spots with limited soil. Ignore obviously high-moisture varieties and choose from 'dry shade' selections - Fibrex nursery is as a good a mail order place to start looking as any: http://www.fibrex.co.uk/hardy-british-ferns/


Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:30 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
I don't think mail order is the way to go, will probably visit fibrex in person in a months time. The gaps are so small I will probably need to get plug sized plants and let them grow into the space rather then get something bigger and try to force it in causing damage :roll: . I brought a few adiantums at the akamba meet but I've planted them already too big for the gap anyway but may hunt for smaller ones. I will have a list of possible candidates from these suggestions before I go to fibrex and will not get distracted by other ferns :oops:

Thanks Steve nice to know your still around...albeit passive :lol: It is rather disconcerting though, members here are starting to take liberties, feel safe and laxity has crept in. Who will ravage people now :?: :( . Laxity is not a laughing issue :P

First one is in...this is what I mean by limited soil


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Mo


Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:06 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
There's a decent mail order fern nursery in Ireland that sells plug plants at reasonable prices including a decent selection of drought tolerant ferns. I've bought plenty from them.

http://www.shadyplants.net/

Pyrossia shearii would be a top contender. I've seen this growing in a garden in Dudley or thereabouts, having seen -18C. But Polypodium, Cetarach and A. trichomanes are also top contenders. If you can find a supplier Araiostegia is a superb crevice fern and very hardy.
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I've been doing something 'similar' to what you are intending to do over the last couple of years or so around the entrance to my old air raid shelter that I am turning into a fern grotto. I covered the walls with lava rock and am slowly but surely establishing 'crevice ferns' in it. Be prepared to keep them sprayed often whilst they are establishing. If it is a good growing medium for ferns and you have other ferns around in the garden they will make their way to it eventually and self-set.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:23 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Thanks for the link

I was wondering where to get pyrossia that Stan suggested. I will probably do an order just because I have not sourced
Arachniodes Simplicitor, since seeing this on a thread here on the gote I have wanted one.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:21 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Another one not yet mentioned is Cyrtomium falcatum. Once established it is tough as nails. There's got to be a Pteris that will be cold hardy enough too - P. cretica, multifida, and nipponica all live under the conditions you mention, however only multifida would be cold hardy enough.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:11 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Gone full circle here. I had to change tactics as it gets baked. I put in some aeonium type plants well at least I think they are with limited success and some sedums in the autumn. Some parts are still stressed I can tell as they go pink. The better looking sedums I put on the north side of the arch away from the afternoon sun. I might even try some aridy type plants (thought I would never say that, ever!) if you think of something that may grow here that would be appreciated as I know very little arid wise


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Last edited by themes on Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:48 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
Mo, the photos are enormous - could you please downsize the files and re-post? Thanks.

You could try Echeveria secunda or E. elegans.

I have several different Aeonium that I am trying out on the green roof, one from Michael in SW Ireland (A. 'Velour') and two from ChrisW4 (A. spathulatum and A. hierrense, although the latter doesn't look much like the images I can find of this sp. on the internet).

One good thing about all of these Echeveria and Aeonium spp. is that it isn't very difficult to overwinter them as dry rosettes, so you can start again if you lose your outdoor plants to cold. I think Dave Bryson has routinely done that in Northwood for some years, lifting them before the hard frosts and then tucking the plants back into gritty soil in spring to re-root themselves.

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Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:34 pm
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Post Re: fern suggestion
thanks David I will keep my eyes peeled. My local nursery usually has that but they look so similar I can't tell the difference. I have the names now and will be going through the labels.

you reminded me, ChrisG has not posted for a while. Does he still look in? prison? Al Shabab hostage?

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Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:10 am
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Post Re: fern suggestion
I just love the way those skulls have weathered with the moss on them. Absolutely brilliant!

Mo, there are still some ferns you could grow. Ceterach is extremely drought tolerant once established, ditto Trichomanes, ditto Polypody. I have them here and they get very dry and hot, always bounce back. Chelianthes grow naturally in dry regions. Pellaea - rotundiflora, falcata and atropurpurea - are worth trying. I grow these here. Any I listed before, really.

Some foolproof succulents - you have sempervivums - they are perfect. Umbilicus rupestris is a cute pan-European native that will slowly (or not so slowly) colonise little crevices. Chiastophyllum oppositifolium (also seen as Cotyledon and Umbillicus) is another cute as anything plant that can take sun and drought but also wet and shade as long as it drains. Bergeranthus is a small mesembryanthemum with finger-like foliage and yellow daisy flowers - extremely hardy. Sedum palmeri is a great trailing succulent that is in full flower at the moment. There are so many!

Quick edit - I don't think may aeoniums would cut it planted out full time up there beyond the snow line. The hardiest for me (came through the bad winters, only to get broken by badgers!) has been Aeonium simsii, which you are unlikely to encounter in a garden centre and, frankly, is no more appealing than a sempervivum.

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Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:29 pm
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