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How To Split Ferns In 3 Easy Steps

It only takes three steps to learn how to split ferns. Because they are long-lived, you must know this primary maintenance practice to prevent overcrowding and use this as an opportunity to produce more plants. Splitting ferns are an excellent way to keep a tidy garden and propagate more plants to sell or replant. 

You might also benefit if you start growing ferns in the greenhouse. Starting plants in a stable environment such as the greenhouse minimizes the chances of drawbacks. More so, ferns make excellent indoor plants, and maintenance is not complicated. They are generally easy to grow, even from the new divisions you’ve created from splitting a mature plant. 


How To Split Ferns In 3 Easy Steps

Comprehensive Guide On How To Split Ferns


Step #1. Digging


Watering the soil

The first step in splitting ferns is digging them out of the soil. A useful technique to remember is watering the soil for at least two days before you intend to dig. This makes it easier to get them out of the ground, and it also prevents stress on the plant when you divide them. 

Remember that your fern must be healthy before digging it up, and this includes ensuring that it is well-hydrated. The root system of freshly divided ferns will still need one to two weeks to establish, so you want them to absorb moisture well before digging. Those who grow ferns in the greenhouse can check the conditions if they are stable to keep the plants healthy. 


Lifting off from the ground

The best time to split ferns is early in spring, right before new growth. Use a shovel to dig around the fern at least 6 inches away to avoid damaging its roots. Once you have gone around the plant, lift the fern gently with the tip of the shovel. 

Some gardeners also divide the plant in half before sliding the shovel under the roots and lifting it. It’s best to raise the roots with soil still attached. In general, you shouldn’t have to dig deep because ferns have shallow roots. 


Sliding out of the container

What about container ferns? The plant should slide out easily, so hold it at the base and tip the container upside down. You can also loosen it by tapping the pot at the edge of a table. 


Step #2. Dividing

The second step is dividing the fern itself. As mentioned earlier, you can divide the plant in half before lifting it off the ground. If you have a potted fern, it’s better to split it after removing it from the container. 

Just be gentle in taking it off to avoid damaging the roots.



However, you want to determine your plant’s root system before dividing it to ensure that you won’t damage its structure. Remove the roots’ soil by rinsing it under a faucet that provides a low stream of water. More so, remove the dead parts and other remnants to make sectioning easier. 


Determining the root system

Ferns have three root system types, and they are rhizomatous, clumping, and spreading. Rhizomatous ferns have a thick structure with small fibrous roots. On the other hand, clumping ferns are all fine fibrous roots growing from the center compared to spreading ferns with fibrous roots from the entire underside. 



Divide the rhizomatous root system so that each section has one rhizome and enough roots and leaves. A clumping fern will then require sectioning through the crown so that each piece has some part of it with roots and leaves. Lastly, you can divide a spreading fern by hand, but ensure that each section has enough roots and cut those connecting if necessary. 


Step #3. Planting

Once you have the divisions, aim to plant them immediately because they can dry reasonably quickly. You should also avoid using sections that show signs of diseases and damages, ranging from mushy rhizomatous ferns and dead centers of clumping ferns. Only use healthy divisions and water them generously upon planting. 


Ensure moisture

You can use a greenhouse for starting fern divisions to avoid fluctuating weather conditions. And to ensure the establishment, you want to provide soil moisture consistently. Gardeners often water the medium until it drains to help with moisture retention but regularly check the surface to keep it from drying. 

Since it can take the split ferns to take a month to fully get established, you can mist them daily to help the roots recover. It’s best to do this every morning to prevent rot and mildew by allowing the plants to dry completely before the cold temperatures in the morning. You can also check for signs of overwatering and underwatering daily. 



Maintenance and propagation of ferns are easy to achieve with one single practice. Knowing how to split ferns will let you divide these plants without drawbacks and get new planting sections. However, it’s crucial to identify the root system of your fern to split it correctly. 

Ferns can have rhizomatous, clumping, and spreading root systems. The latter two are easy to get confused by, but spreading root systems will have fibrous roots growing from the entire underside and not just the center. Regardless of your fern’s root system, it’s crucial to remove any damaged or mushy parts and ensure that each section has enough foliage and roots to develop. 

After splitting, you must ensure soil moisture to help them establish themselves. This is also why it’s essential to water the plant before you intend to dig it out of the soil. Afterward, you shouldn’t have any problems with growing the new sections. 


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How To Care For Carpet Roses. 3 Factors To Master

How To Care For Carpet Roses. 3 Factors To Master

You have three factors to consider to know how to care for carpet roses. Gone are the days where roses are only centerpieces, but with proper care and maintenance, you might have one of the best groundcover plants. Carpet roses will undoubtedly improve any garden bed, and you’ll be pleased how they are not even demanding constant attention. 

If you want to protect your plants from challenging environmental conditions, you can also consider growing carpet roses in the greenhouse. This will make maintenance more comfortable, and you should face fewer challenges and problems. This article will teach you the ideal conditions and practices to keep your carpet roses blooming happily. 


In general, carpet roses are easy to grow and are relatively low-maintenance. However, the emphasis is necessary on knowing the variety you have and adjusting the plants’ practices and requirements accordingly. 


Factor #1. Location

The first consideration to ensure proper care for carpet or groundcover roses is in the ideal growing environment. Remember that even though groundcover roses are not picky in sites, they should still be in an optimal location to thrive. You can determine the ideal location of your carpet roses depending on their type

For example, some groundcover roses prefer full sun, but others will thrive in partial sun. You also want to plant them in well-draining soil because these plants are prone to drowning. After ticking these boxes, allocate enough space for the carpet roses to keep them from getting overcrowded that can cause problems over time. 


Factor #2. Maintenance

The second factor when caring for carpet roses is the practices in maintaining them. To start, remember that it’s crucial to plant them in a well-draining area. Overwatering the plants or leaving them in standing water can drown the plants or encourage root rot. Always check the ground if the roses need watering and amend the soil to improve its structure.

Carpet roses will also benefit from fertilizers. You can boost the plants and encourage them to fully cover the ground by feeding above and below the roses. Check the label instructions of your fertilizer and put your plants on a schedule for fertilizing regularly. 

Do you prune carpet roses? Depending on what type you have, some roses will benefit from pruning. You can cut the stems after flowering to keep the roses from overgrowing their area and maintain a tidy look. 


Factor #3. Common problems

Carpet roses, much like other groundcover plants, are prone to pests because of the large surface area they have. Therefore, prevention is vital to keep the pest population at bay. Gardeners often use insect spray or fungicides on the carpet roses to keep off insects or fungi. 

You can also practice preventative measures such as isolation of new plants and immediately removing plants with pests or diseases to prevent the spread. Always practice proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid bringing pests into the area. More so, maintain the ideal environment to discourage insects’ reproduction like aphids or the development of diseases like powdery mildew. 

Unlike other groundcover plants, carpet roses don’t have enough foliage to smother weed. Therefore, you want to use landscape fabric with drip irrigation on top to deter weed growth. You can also mulch under the systems or add a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring or fall to manage weeds.



How To Grow Carpet Roses

You can propagate carpet roses by rooting sections of the stem of a parent plant. Carpet roses typically develop rooted stems in spring or fall that you can dig up and repot. However, remember that the best propagation method will vary on the type of roses you have, 

You may also purchase potted ground cover roses, and you can transplant them in a bigger container or onto the ground outdoors. You can again grow bare-root carpet roses after the frost in the garden the same way you would when planting other roses. Amend the soil with organic matter and water the plants after putting and firming them in place. 

Because of their low-growing habit, you can have many uses for carpet roses. You can use them as borders or barriers for paths and driveways, add texture to a slope or wall, or fill a bed in the garden. However, be prepared that these plants can become leafless during the dormant season. 



One of the best groundcover plants to consider is carpet roses. However, you must know how to care for carpet roses to keep them healthy and looking tidy. To start, grow them in an ideal location to lessen the chances of developing drawbacks and problems. 

You can check the type of roses you have to know where is the best place to grow them. Once you have ensured the ideal location, maintain your plants by watering and fertilizing regularly. Be mindful not to overwater your plants as this can drown them, and you can also boost growth by feeding according to the label. 

You can also keep the roses from overgrowing their space by pruning after the flowering season. Lastly, do the necessary preventative measures to keep the roses from acquiring pests and diseases. Use fungicide or insect spray to keep fungi and pests at bay and maintain stable conditions to discourage growth and spread. 

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