Contact Us Host an Event 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 Transplants Questions

Transplanting non-native crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ
May 11, 2014 - When is the best time to transplant dwarf crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ?
view the full question and answer

Dividing and planting Yucca and pups in New Mexico
June 23, 2009 - I bought a Yucca plant and had 7 plants in one planter 1 large and 6 small. We wanted to split up the plants so we carefully separated them and planted them. My soil is very sandy (Rio Rancho) but I...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time to separate and transplant black-eyed Susan
May 26, 2007 - When is the optimal time to separate or transplant black eyed Susan. I have some in a planter on my patio, but it has multiplied and become too crowded for the pot; it needs water daily.
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflower garden for Pennsylvania
May 21, 2008 - Hello, I am interested in making a garden, and I would like to use only or mostly native wildflowers in it. Do you have any good suggestions for wildflowers that I can transplant from places where the...
view the full question and answer

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