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What Are Boston Fern Stolons? 

What Are Boston Fern Stolons? 

In the growing of ferns, do you know what are Boston fern stolons, where, and why they grow in the fern plant?  In this article, we will look at all of that.

Boston fern stolons are small, thin, and soft, with a smooth surface, and are usually used for decorative purposes.  They are also called Boston fern runners and can be used in the decoration of the house, garden, or landscape, as well as indoors.

The Boston ferns can be found in tropical and subtropical regions, but mostly in temperate regions.  They grow in moist soil, preferably under a tree, or on the edge of a pond. Their growth requires a lot of sunlight and they are not as sensitive to cold weather as some other ferns.  However, they are not resistant to heat.

They also require a lot of water, so it is recommended to provide them with water in the form of a drip irrigation system.  Boston ferns are perennial ferns, and they have long roots which allow them to adapt to almost any location.

Boston Fern Stolons
Dogwood in fern garden x
Dogwood in fern garden

Boston fern stolons can be found in many types of ferns, such as:

  • Athyrium filix-Femina (commonly known as “witch hazel”).
  • Blechnum discolor (commonly known as “bleach”)
  • Dryopteris carthusiana (commonly known as “wood fern”)
  • Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (commonly known as “Indian wood fern”)

In the United States, these stoloniferous ferns are commonly found in the mountains, especially in the Appalachian region. They grow on moist rock faces and have a creeping rhizome and small leaves. The leaves are divided into three leaflets that are slightly toothed along their edges. They have a long, slender sporangium, which is brown.

It is in the form of an elongated tube that opens up into a single-seeded capsule. The sporangium of the S. hians has a unique structure. It is covered by a dense layer of a waxy substance that holds in moisture and prevents air from entering.

This results in the formation of a hard, round, brown mass of spores that is known as the spore case. When mature, the spore case is ejected from the sporangium by the action of an enzyme that is secreted from the sporangia. The spore case then drops to the ground, where it is eaten by ants and beetles. When the spores germinate, they produce a new plant. The spores are dispersed from the plants via wind or water.

How To Use Boston Fern Stolons?

  1. Boston fern stolons are common and they are commonly used by many people to decorate.
  2. They can be made into a beautiful houseplant and it is easy to grow.
  3. You can also put them in a vase.
  4. They can be used to propagate ferns by laying them on the soil.
  5. They can be repotted to be allowed more room to grow but in the end, you have to transplant them to their final ground.
  6. The Boston fern is a very popular plant and there are many different ways to use them. Some of the most common uses include:
  7. A beautiful houseplant that has a lot of decorative value. Boston ferns are used as ornamental plants, or to make decorative arrangements.
  8. Boston ferns are also used in landscaping. You can use them as a ground cover for your lawn. They have an interesting appearance and they add beauty to your yard. You can also use them as a plant in your garden.
  9. You can also make your houseplants by placing them in a pot. In the summertime, you can place them on a patio or porch. You can also put them in a sunny window. They will do well with lots of sunlight.
  10. You can place them in a bed next to other plants. You can also place them in a planter that is near the house.
  11. Boston ferns can be placed in pots or they can be planted in the ground. You can also use them for indoor gardening.

Growing Boston Ferns Stolons

Boston ferns require a well-drained, sunny location. The ferns prefer acidic soil and can be grown in pots on a patio or balcony. They should be planted in groups with a minimum of one plant per pot.

There are several ways to propagate Boston ferns. In the United States, they can be propagated from spores or by division. Spores are produced in the winter months in a “spore sac” on the underside of fronds. They can be spread by gently brushing the spore sac onto a prepared surface or substrate.

Division can be done in the spring by carefully removing a portion of the rhizome and replanting it in fresh soil. Also, the fronds of the Boston ferns can be cut back in the summer to encourage growth and bloom. Take into consideration that the ferns should be cut back every two weeks and will require less maintenance if the stems are kept to a length of 3 inches.

In Conclusion

The Boston fern stolons are a common part of fern growing and every gardener growing ferns needs to know this. The stolons are used in fern propagation and the more stolons species such as P. Alpina are often propagated by cuttings.

The stolons are a key part of the fern and their use is widespread and known to most people. However, many people do not know what the stolons are for or how to care for them.  The above article will tell you all about the Boston fern stolons.

Read more about Care Of Boston Fern Outdoors – A Guide.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut off Boston fern stolons?

Boston ferns grow in a basal rosette, with leaves borne on a single stem. The plant produces new growth at the apex of the stem, which is called a'stolon'. If you want to keep this plant healthy and vigorous for many years, you should only prune the stolon. It is usually possible to sever the stolon with a sharp knife without damaging the leaf blade.

What can I do with fern stolons?

You can use them as potting soil, as fertilizer, as a natural mulch, or simply enjoy their texture and colour. When the plant starts to flower, you can either let the stolons remain on the plant, or remove them.  You can propagate Boston ferns from stolons, and you can also grow it from spores. To propagate stolons, place them in a well-drained potting mix, and water thoroughly. The best time to do this is in early spring after the plant has finished flowering. After three weeks, you will have small rosettes of fronds. You can then transplant these into a larger pot, where they should be kept for about a month before planting out.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Ferns have roots that go down into the ground, but they also have rhizomes, which are underground stems that send outshoots. These shoots grow up above the ground and are called stolons. The stolon is usually about 6-10cm long and grows from the rhizome. It contains the plant’s roots, as well as its leaves and stem. Once the plant has been cut, it continues to produce new growth at the top of the stump, and this is what you see as a stolon.

What are the runners on Boston fern?

The runners on Boston fern are called fronds, and these are made up of two or three leaflets. They are produced when the stolon emerges from the ground in spring, and are therefore an indication that the plant is healthy and growing well. The frond may be anywhere between 1 and 6cm in length, and it will continue to grow longer as the plant develops. When the frond reaches maturity, it will be about 20cm long. The frond can then be used as food, or it can be dried for use later in the year. If you want to dry your frond, simply hang it upside down from a string or stick, and leave it to dry for a couple of days. It will be brittle, but once it has been dried, it can be stored for up to three months.