En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - May 06, 2010

From: Katy (Houston), TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Ferns
Title: Southern Woodferns in TX
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have recently bought some 3 gallon southern woodferns, and have planted them in the shade in a low spot with clay soil. It seems to be a good location for the ferns, but a week or two after transplanting they have lost more than half of their foliage. What can I do to make sure they get established well?

ANSWER:

It does sound like you have chosen the ideal location for your Dryopteris ludoviciana (southern woodfern and it could be that they are just getting used to their new location.

There are a couple of things that could be a problem ... too much water or not enough.  Even though their ideal situation is in moist or wet soil, if you are overwatering them enough that your clay soil is saturated, that could be too much.  Also, if the plants were potbound when you planted them and you did not loosen the roots so the water can get into the rootball and the roots can work their way into the soil, the plant will actually be unable to take up the water you are giving it.

You might also take a frond to the nursery where you purchased or your local agricultural extension office it to see if they can diagnose the problem.

 

From the Image Gallery


Southern woodfern
Dryopteris ludoviciana

More Transplants Questions

Non-blooming of an apparent yucca in Ohio
March 09, 2009 - I have what looks like a yucca plant in my flower bed. but in the 3 years we have lived here it has never bloomed. It did get a little bigger and has always been green. If it is a yucca, is there any ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers before construction begins
September 23, 2004 - Can wildflowers be transplanted? I'm building a house and wonder what can I save before the builder clears the lot.
view the full question and answer

Want a source for Mexican redbud in Houston, TX
October 04, 2010 - I live in west Houston and would like to purchase and plant a Mexican redbud in my yard. I have Googled to find one and also searched the Growit site without success. Where can I find one in Texas? I ...
view the full question and answer

Moving Century plants in Norwalk CA
September 15, 2009 - I have two large Century plants that are each 10 1/2 years old. One is 4'x5' tall and wide with about 8-10 small shoots. The smaller in about 3 1/2'x 5' with about 6 shoots. They've grown too l...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center