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

New agave plants, offshoots of parent plant, transplanting
September 16, 2007 - I have different varieties of Agaves that are sending off new plants from the mother. Some have 1-2 and some have 6-7 plants. Is there a proper method for removing (cutting them a certain way) for t...
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Field of Dreams
June 07, 2009 - I planted a field of sunflowers in April. I transplanted some of the crowded plants to different rows in mid-May - no problems. I have tried to transplant some of the plants this first week of June ...
view the full question and answer

Moving wildflowers into a pollinator garden in Webster NY
July 27, 2009 - I live in the Western New York area and would like to utilize unwanted wildflowers near our roadside and woodland area into a large pollinator garden I am creating. What is a safe way to move an enti...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center