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Ferns/holy fern


i would like to know how to take a fern out of soil and put it in hydroponics its about 6 inch across and 1 foot tall i think its a holy fern i cant grow anything in soil so i tryed hydroponics but have problem when i transfer soil roots to water because they rot due to the exsess dirt i couldn't get off this is my first fern i just purchased it yesterday i would appreciate any help thank you so much for your time

Cynthia hi;

Wow, this is a great question.  In fact, you may have stumped the expert...

I have had no personal experience transplanting potted ferns into a hydroponics system.  Accordingly, my answer will be based on general horticultural theory, not scientific fact.  In short, my answer is not 100% guaranteed, only my personal and professional opinion.

I believe that your mature holly plant would not survive a transplant into a hydroponics system.  These plants have been grown for a very long period of time (possibly, an entire year) in special formulated peat-based substrates which have been designed to provide an ideal setting and anchoring for the root system.  The roots on the plant (and more specifically, the root hairs) have been 'trained' to expect not only water, but also space, nutrients, organic matter, and so forth.  They are not acclimated to survive in liquid, and I believe that the plant will wilt and die (and the roots will rot), before it has a chance to develop new roots which are better suited to utilize the liquid environment.  

In my opinion, you will be better served by investigating why you have not been successful at growing these plants in a container or in the ground, and I will be more than happy to assist you with that process.

I am sorry that I could not provide a more encouraging answer.  Of course, you may always choose to still try, and definitely let me know if I ended up being wrong.  Some plants are more adaptable than others, and we can never know for sure until we try.

Best regards;

Dan C.  


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Dan Carmi


I can answer all types of questions regarding ferns: their physiology, life cycle, taxonomy, culture (for both the professional and hobbyist), home and garden application and care, site suitability, and more. I can also answer questions in the fields of greenhouse production, foliage plants, and houseplant care, along with questions in the general field of ornamental horticulture. I may be able to identify fern and foliage plants by photo, but I am unlikely to be able to do it by description (though I will never turn down a challenge). I am not an expert in crop, field, and agronomic production. I am not an expert on annuals, perennials, tree & shrub crops.


I am a horticulturist with a formal education and twelve years experience in commercial fern and tropical foliage production. I also served as Adjunct Professor of Horticulture at Florida Southern College.

Florida's Nursery Growers and Landscape Association: current member and Action Chapter Board Member 2006-2008.

I have a BSc in Environmental Horticulture / Business from Florida Southern College, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Production.

Awards and Honors
FNGLA Action Chapter President's Award 2006-2007, numerous academic awards 2001-2005.

Past/Present Clients
Through my place of employment, I serve hundreds of commercial growers across the country and beyond.

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