Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Source for dotted blue-eyed grass from Saluda SC
February 23, 2013 - I lived in Texas for several years and now live on acreage in South Carolina. I have heard that bluebonnets don't grow well in South Carolina. However, there is a place by the road near our house t...
view the full question and answer

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
July 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on dutchmans pipe
July 24, 2005 - How do I care for and transplant dutchman pipe?
view the full question and answer

Timing for planting wildflower seeds in the Pacific Northwest
November 27, 2009 - Do you think it is better to sow wildflower seeds in the Pacific NW in the Fall/early Winter or Spring?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.