Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

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Dave Brown
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Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Dave Brown »

Just noticed my 3 foot Dicksonia antarctica seems to be sporeing. Has anyone had any spores successfully produce ferns? My Cordylines self sow, so I presume id I can keep a moist enough environment, it should be possible.
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stephenprudence

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by stephenprudence »

I'm pretty sure that Ness Gardens have a self sporing set, as everytime I go in the Spring there are usually new seedlings around and about, then again they could be planted, but I wouldn't see the point in planting something that small..
weve

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by weve »

Dave

I have been wondering when Dicksonia antarctica produce spores. Native British ferns generally have sori on the undersides of all mature leaves.

I know these can be successfully propagated as there is one garden centre/nursery near me (in Chudleigh, Devon) that sell Dicksonia antarctica sporelings propagated from their stock.

I have successfully grown ferns (not tried Dicksonia antarctica tho' - no spores yet)) from packets of spores, simply by sowing them on moist sterilized peaty compost in a seed tray covered with cling film. After a while there develops a green film (botanically the gametophyte generation) which after fertilization takes place, produce little fern plants (the sporophyte generation) These can be pricked out when big enough (I used a needle to tease them out) and grown on. Moisture is essential throughout the process both to ensure ferilization and to stop the mini-ferns drying out.

Whilst it might take an age to develop into a decent looking Dicksonia antarctica, IMO an interesting exercise to try.

Not sure how to tell when the sori are mature and about to release their spores (in other ferns they darken). Perhaps you could take a few pinnae off the leaf at various intervals and lay them on the compost, to ensure you don't "miss the boat".

(hope I'm not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, Dave :) )

Definitely give it a go

best
weve
Last edited by weve on Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
themes

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by themes »

last year i brought some Dicksonia antarctica's from a chap who had them for ten years. They had self sowed everywhere underneath. He is not a very keen gardener and says he does not weed much. they have a long incubation period I gather and as long as the area where the spores set is humid and left undisturbed they should pop up
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Mick C
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Mick C »

I tried some last year, but without success. It was only about a couple of weeks ago that I got fed up with looking at pots of compost doing absolutely nothing, and emptied them out. I only kept them as long as I did because the compost had stayed sterile inside their plastic bag during this time, no mould appeared at all.

I was advised to 'never give up' on them, but felt that a year was long enough. Maybe I left the spores too long before sowing them.
fgtbell

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by fgtbell »

Hi Dave,

Yes, late august-ish is generally the time to collect spores - so this week is spot on. If you put some frond pieces in a big paper envelope and keep it somewhere warm and dry (not hot) then within a week or so the maximum number of spores should fall out.

Yes, freshness is a factor in germination, so sow them soon if you get some. There are lots of germination methods, I have documented some of them here: http://www.growing-exotics.org.uk/growi ... ethod.html.

If you get no germination at all after 3 months or so then I'd chuck them. If it was something terribly rare then it might be worth trying for longer - but generally after a longer period, the pots get overtaken by algae and once that happens, the spores don't get a look in.

Regards,
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Dave Brown »

Cheers for the replied guys, I'll give it a go just for fun. icon_thumright
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Imran Khalid

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Imran Khalid »

Good luck David.

I tried to grow from my own spores a number of years ago but had rather disappointing results. I will be keen to see how you get on.

Do you know Steve Pope? Is he a member here, I had the pleasure in meeting him breifly a number of years ago, and would recomend taking his advice.

There was a thread on Growing on the edge recently about his exploits with various tree ferns from spore. Well worth a read.

http://www.growingontheedge.net/viewtop ... db7fcc383b
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by redsquirrel »

one of my larger ones did this,now the fronds have turned crispy brown.is that bit normal too?
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Dave Brown
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Dave Brown »

redsquirrel wrote:one of my larger ones did this,now the fronds have turned crispy brown.is that bit normal too?
I'd say not RS, Mine is still green. Has it got dry :?:
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redsquirrel
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by redsquirrel »

not really dave, they did go 1 week without it but were well soaked both weekends
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Tom2006 »

my 5' spores most years but never had any youngsters. I just cut the fronds and put them around the base of the ferns but nothing ever grows
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Dave Brown »

It would need to be constantly moist for the spores to germinate and if they dry out just once before getting true fronds that is probably it :roll:
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Johno S

Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Johno S »

I find Dicksonia antarctica's quite easy to propagate. I sow late August as soon as the first spore ripen, then place them under a larger specimen plant until the first sign of the weather turning. I then bring them into a garage or shed until the cold weather has passed and put them back outside under a larger plant.

I always plant in 1L pots and put them in freezer bags and spray them occasionally with rain but water.

It is my tried and tested way it works for me, good luck!
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica sporeing

Post by Tom2006 »

would love to propergate mine!
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.
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