Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Trumpet vines on wall in Longmont CO
May 18, 2010 - I purchased three trumpet vines to plant on the NW wall of my house back in 2002. Although the leaves are a beautiful healthy dark green, none of them have ever bloomed despite regular fertilizing pe...
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on non-native Burford holly
August 22, 2008 - I have several dwarf Burford hollies whose leaves are browning. The individual leaves have colors of green, dark brown to light brown extending from the stem. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
April 20, 2011 - Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
view the full question and answer

Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
August 15, 2008 - I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX
July 30, 2011 - I have three house plants that were plants I received from my father's funeral services. They were healthy for about two years and then we added some soil and now they are turning brown and appear t...
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.