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Ferns/Upside-down fern


Several years ago I bought three Arachniodes standishii. Only one survived the first winter (zone 6, northern NJ), and that one has not increased in size nor number. I've never seen any spores on the fronds.

What is the trick to getting Upside-down fern to grow and multiply?

Janet hi;

I have not had personal experience with this particular fern, so I can only answer your question from literature.

The company that propagates and distributes this plant in the United States (Casa Flora) provides the following information on its website:  "It can be reluctant to produce spores and then reluctant to drop them, so fortunately tissue culture has brought us this fine plant."

This tells me that, due to the selection and propagation process, it may be very difficult (if not impossible) to try and propagate this from spore.

All my literary references concur that this plant is hardy to zone 6.  That means that you are right on the edge of its cold tolerance.  Once rooted and established, it should survive your winters.  However, extreme cold patterns may prove otherwise.

Generally, the inducement of stress (from heat, cold, or drought) my prompt your plant to produce fertile fronds and spores.  However, in a natural setting, these conditions would be difficult to create.  This variety does have a clumping form though, so while it is a slow grower, one can expect it to eventually grow and multiply to the extent that you could safely take divisions.

I apologize for not being able to provide a definitive process.  This is a fairly rare and unique fern, and it appears that any 'tricks' have yet to be documented.

Thanks for your inquiry!



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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.

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

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