En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 15, 2009

From: Chappell Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Starting transplants of native Pleopeltis polypodioides
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to know how to start Pleopeltis polypodioides (resurrection fern) growing in my oak trees. I have a source for the plants but do not know how to start the transplants on the limbs of the trees.

ANSWER:

Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. polypodioides (resurrection fern) is a native plant and an epiphyte. In Central Texas we are all familiar with the epiphyte  Tillandsia baileyi (reflexed airplant), also known as ball moss, that is similarly fond of oak trees. Epiphytes do no harm to host plants, as they take their nutrients from rain and dust in the air. We learned from this Floridata website Pleopeltis polypodioides that it can be easily transplanted by wedging the rhizomes (something like "roots") into the furrows in the oak bark. When the fern dries out, it pulls its leaves in to protect the moisture it already has, and almost disappears. A light spray with a hose will bring it back to life, thus the name. As it spreads by spores, once you have established it, the plant will probably take care of spreading on the host tree and others near it. 


Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. polypodioides

 

 


 

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of possumhaw from Austin
May 22, 2014 - I planted a possumhaw holly plant about 3 months ago and am really excited to watch it grow from its current 3-foot height. It is starting to berry right now. My question is about those berries: (Cle...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in August from St. Louis MO
August 09, 2011 - I have a 4' tall redbud that needs to be transplanted before the end of August because of construction on our house. Can this be done without killing the tree? Can I take a cutting from the tree and ...
view the full question and answer

Nutlet on rudbekia plants from Quincy IL
September 21, 2009 - On rudbeckia plants, what is a nutlet?
view the full question and answer

Dividing Agapanthus
October 03, 2015 - When and how do I separate Agapanthus? Should I do it?
view the full question and answer

Seed source for Carex texensis from Louisville KY
May 02, 2012 - Your reply to my question re a grass for my Kentucky home with cistern only water available was much appreciated, Carex texensis was recommended. I am unable to find this product for sale other than ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center