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What Are Boston Fern Stolons? 

What Are Boston Fern Stolons? + FAQs

Well, we asked “What are Boston Fern Stolons?” and now you know -they are little runners which will develop into a new fern at the end of the runner. You can use these to propagate new ferns, and with time, you will have so many Boston Ferns that you will probably have to start disposing of stolons! Do this by burning them. And we also learned that Boston Ferns produce little grape-sized bulbils/nodules/tuber-like things that can be used to propagate the fern too.

Boston Ferns are really difficult to kill, so they make a great indoor plant. I caution against them as an outdoor plant as they can take over and once they get established, you really struggle to get rid of them. Trust me – I spent 5 years of my childhood trying to eradicate them – my punishment for being naughty was to dig up Boston Fern Stolons and nodules – I was a very naughty kid so I spent a lot of time doing this.

Read more about Can You Use Rose Food On Other Plants? 

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut off Boston fern stolons?

Yes. You can replant the stolons, or dispose of them - preferably by burning them. This is an invasive species and if you throw it away in the organic matter garbage, it will grow in somebodies compost and spread.

What can I do with fern stolons?

Cut them off and replant them. Or burn them to destroy them. Do not dispose of them in the organic matter garbage as they will contaminate compost and will spread this fern into other people's gardens where it will be a pest. It is a bad garden plant because it takes over, and it also becomes an invasive species in the wild, damaging indigenous plants.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

They grow stolons as a method of spreading and expanding their plant size.

What are the runners on Boston fern?

Runners or stolons are little shoots of fern that look like a fern dangling on the end of a stalk. They will touch the ground somewhere normally and take root allowing the fern to grow bigger and expands.

In Conclusion

Well, we asked “What are Boston Fern Stolons?” and now you know -they are little runners which will develop into a new fern at the end of the runner. You can use these to propagate new ferns, and with time, you will have so many Boston Ferns that you will probably have to start disposing of stolons! Do this by burning them. And we also learned that Boston Ferns produce little grape-sized bulbils/nodules/tuber-like things that can be used to propagate the fern too.

Boston Ferns are really difficult to kill, so they make a great indoor plant. I caution against them as an outdoor plant as they can take over and once they get established, you really struggle to get rid of them. Trust me – I spent 5 years of my childhood trying to eradicate them – my punishment for being naughty was to dig up Boston Fern Stolons and nodules – I was a very naughty kid so I spent a lot of time doing this.

Read more about Can You Use Rose Food On Other Plants? 

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut off Boston fern stolons?

Yes. You can replant the stolons, or dispose of them - preferably by burning them. This is an invasive species and if you throw it away in the organic matter garbage, it will grow in somebodies compost and spread.

What can I do with fern stolons?

Cut them off and replant them. Or burn them to destroy them. Do not dispose of them in the organic matter garbage as they will contaminate compost and will spread this fern into other people's gardens where it will be a pest. It is a bad garden plant because it takes over, and it also becomes an invasive species in the wild, damaging indigenous plants.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

They grow stolons as a method of spreading and expanding their plant size.

What are the runners on Boston fern?

Runners or stolons are little shoots of fern that look like a fern dangling on the end of a stalk. They will touch the ground somewhere normally and take root allowing the fern to grow bigger and expands.

Boston ferns – or Nephrolepis exaltata – produce stolons. In this article, we ask “What are Boston fern stolons?” Understanding this will allow you to propagate these ferns and multiply them. 

What is a Boston Fern?

A Boston fern is a type of sword fern native to the Americas. It has sword-shaped leaves and grows aggressively. The fern produces these little root nodules on its rhizomes that store water, and can also turn into new ferns.

It is really tough and can survive long periods of drought (the top will die but it will grow back with watering) and it can also survive being covered in snow. It produces runners – or stolons -that allow the plant to spread. More on that later.

I have many unfolded memories of being tasked with digging this, and another closely related species, that are invasive plants in my area. As kids, if we were punished, our job was to go and dig up Boston Sword Ferns and remove the plants, the little root nodule tubers, and the stolons. If you do not get everything out, this fern comes back like the plague.

It is an ideal indoor houseplant. My advice would be to NEVER plant this in your outdoor garden, however, as it will take over. But you can plant it indoors and contain it in a pot and it looks quite pretty.

What Are Boston Fern Stolons? 

A stolon is a horizontal creeping stem or runner, that can root somewhere along its length giving rise to new plants. Boston ferns are very adept at sending out stolons that will take root if they find soil, or dangle over the edge of your pot if they do not find soil.

If you understand how a Boston fern stolon works, you can use these to multiply the fern. Alternatively – if you have enough ferns, clip these off and burn them. I say this because if you throw them out in the garbage there is a chance these things could start invading the garbage dump! I have actually seen this happen.

The most common time you will see Boston fern stolons is when they hang over the edge of a pot – you get a long dangly stem and then a new fern, complete with little roots that start to grow on the end.

What to do with them?

When you get a small stolon let it develop for a while until it starts to look like a little fern plant with leaves and roots forming. If you let this get to the point where the leaves are a few inches long, you can place this new plant in a little pot and let it take root. Once it has taken root, you can clip the stolon, freeing it from the parent plant.

Once you reach a point where you have so many Boston Ferns you do not know what to do with them, I would suggest burning the stolons you trim off. Do not dispose of these in the garbage as they can become a problem wherever they go.

What is The Ideal Potting Soil for Boston Ferns?

The healthiest Boston Ferns I have ever seen grew below the crown of two large palm trees in my parent’s garden when I was a kid. These trees had a sort of layer of palm peat compost that formed below the crown, and this was filled with Boston Ferns. Pigeons nested in these trees, and when it rained the pigeon manure was washed down through the ferns creating a light nutrient solution.

Generally, ferns require quite nutrient-poor soils with an ability to hold moisture, but the soil should be well aerated. Boston Ferns are probably some of the least fussy ferns, however, and can grow in nearly any soil – but if you want a healthy attractive plant, give them soil that is rich in coco coir, compost, earth, and pearlite. This would be a soil I would purchase if I needed to.

Check Price on Amazon

A Note On Boston Fern Root Nodules

When you repot your Boston Fern, you will find the pot may contain these little marble-sized potato-like objects. These root nodules are water storage organs. This is what allows the fern to survive long periods of dry weather. With time, you will find that a significant percentage of your pot will be taken up by these! I have seen situations where more than half of the volume of a fern pot is made up of these.

You can harvest these and plant them in a new pot – if you press them gently into the soil so that they are about a half inch below the surface and keep the soil moist you will sometimes get a new fern plant this way. I personally would not bother with this method as it is much easier just to propagate from stolons.

How to Grow Ferns From Spores

This is a really fun project. The method I have used to great success over the years is quite simple.

I take a little bit of moist coco-coir in a jar. I find a piece of moss in a shady place and put this on top of the moss. I then take the fern leaf with spores and scratch the spores onto the moss and then close the jar and place it on a shaded window sill.

With time, the fern spores germinate and form thalli – small reproductive organs that then allow a mature fern to form. The thallus looks like a pretty heart. The fern will then grow out of one of these, and in a few months, you see it start to shoot out its fronds.

For a Boston Fern, this is really just a project you would do to teach yourself or your kids about nature – but for a more expensive fern such as a tree fern, it is a nice way to be able to harvest spores from a fern you see in a hotel or a resort, and grow these at home!

In Conclusion

Well, we asked “What are Boston Fern Stolons?” and now you know -they are little runners which will develop into a new fern at the end of the runner. You can use these to propagate new ferns, and with time, you will have so many Boston Ferns that you will probably have to start disposing of stolons! Do this by burning them. And we also learned that Boston Ferns produce little grape-sized bulbils/nodules/tuber-like things that can be used to propagate the fern too.

Boston Ferns are really difficult to kill, so they make a great indoor plant. I caution against them as an outdoor plant as they can take over and once they get established, you really struggle to get rid of them. Trust me – I spent 5 years of my childhood trying to eradicate them – my punishment for being naughty was to dig up Boston Fern Stolons and nodules – I was a very naughty kid so I spent a lot of time doing this.

Read more about Can You Use Rose Food On Other Plants? 

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut off Boston fern stolons?

Yes. You can replant the stolons, or dispose of them - preferably by burning them. This is an invasive species and if you throw it away in the organic matter garbage, it will grow in somebodies compost and spread.

What can I do with fern stolons?

Cut them off and replant them. Or burn them to destroy them. Do not dispose of them in the organic matter garbage as they will contaminate compost and will spread this fern into other people's gardens where it will be a pest. It is a bad garden plant because it takes over, and it also becomes an invasive species in the wild, damaging indigenous plants.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

They grow stolons as a method of spreading and expanding their plant size.

What are the runners on Boston fern?

Runners or stolons are little shoots of fern that look like a fern dangling on the end of a stalk. They will touch the ground somewhere normally and take root allowing the fern to grow bigger and expands.

Boston ferns – or Nephrolepis exaltata – produce stolons. In this article, we ask “What are Boston fern stolons?” Understanding this will allow you to propagate these ferns and multiply them. 

What is a Boston Fern?

A Boston fern is a type of sword fern native to the Americas. It has sword-shaped leaves and grows aggressively. The fern produces these little root nodules on its rhizomes that store water, and can also turn into new ferns.

It is really tough and can survive long periods of drought (the top will die but it will grow back with watering) and it can also survive being covered in snow. It produces runners – or stolons -that allow the plant to spread. More on that later.

I have many unfolded memories of being tasked with digging this, and another closely related species, that are invasive plants in my area. As kids, if we were punished, our job was to go and dig up Boston Sword Ferns and remove the plants, the little root nodule tubers, and the stolons. If you do not get everything out, this fern comes back like the plague.

It is an ideal indoor houseplant. My advice would be to NEVER plant this in your outdoor garden, however, as it will take over. But you can plant it indoors and contain it in a pot and it looks quite pretty.

What Are Boston Fern Stolons? 

A stolon is a horizontal creeping stem or runner, that can root somewhere along its length giving rise to new plants. Boston ferns are very adept at sending out stolons that will take root if they find soil, or dangle over the edge of your pot if they do not find soil.

If you understand how a Boston fern stolon works, you can use these to multiply the fern. Alternatively – if you have enough ferns, clip these off and burn them. I say this because if you throw them out in the garbage there is a chance these things could start invading the garbage dump! I have actually seen this happen.

The most common time you will see Boston fern stolons is when they hang over the edge of a pot – you get a long dangly stem and then a new fern, complete with little roots that start to grow on the end.

What to do with them?

When you get a small stolon let it develop for a while until it starts to look like a little fern plant with leaves and roots forming. If you let this get to the point where the leaves are a few inches long, you can place this new plant in a little pot and let it take root. Once it has taken root, you can clip the stolon, freeing it from the parent plant.

Once you reach a point where you have so many Boston Ferns you do not know what to do with them, I would suggest burning the stolons you trim off. Do not dispose of these in the garbage as they can become a problem wherever they go.

What is The Ideal Potting Soil for Boston Ferns?

The healthiest Boston Ferns I have ever seen grew below the crown of two large palm trees in my parent’s garden when I was a kid. These trees had a sort of layer of palm peat compost that formed below the crown, and this was filled with Boston Ferns. Pigeons nested in these trees, and when it rained the pigeon manure was washed down through the ferns creating a light nutrient solution.

Generally, ferns require quite nutrient-poor soils with an ability to hold moisture, but the soil should be well aerated. Boston Ferns are probably some of the least fussy ferns, however, and can grow in nearly any soil – but if you want a healthy attractive plant, give them soil that is rich in coco coir, compost, earth, and pearlite. This would be a soil I would purchase if I needed to.

Check Price on Amazon

A Note On Boston Fern Root Nodules

When you repot your Boston Fern, you will find the pot may contain these little marble-sized potato-like objects. These root nodules are water storage organs. This is what allows the fern to survive long periods of dry weather. With time, you will find that a significant percentage of your pot will be taken up by these! I have seen situations where more than half of the volume of a fern pot is made up of these.

You can harvest these and plant them in a new pot – if you press them gently into the soil so that they are about a half inch below the surface and keep the soil moist you will sometimes get a new fern plant this way. I personally would not bother with this method as it is much easier just to propagate from stolons.

How to Grow Ferns From Spores

This is a really fun project. The method I have used to great success over the years is quite simple.

I take a little bit of moist coco-coir in a jar. I find a piece of moss in a shady place and put this on top of the moss. I then take the fern leaf with spores and scratch the spores onto the moss and then close the jar and place it on a shaded window sill.

With time, the fern spores germinate and form thalli – small reproductive organs that then allow a mature fern to form. The thallus looks like a pretty heart. The fern will then grow out of one of these, and in a few months, you see it start to shoot out its fronds.

For a Boston Fern, this is really just a project you would do to teach yourself or your kids about nature – but for a more expensive fern such as a tree fern, it is a nice way to be able to harvest spores from a fern you see in a hotel or a resort, and grow these at home!

In Conclusion

Well, we asked “What are Boston Fern Stolons?” and now you know -they are little runners which will develop into a new fern at the end of the runner. You can use these to propagate new ferns, and with time, you will have so many Boston Ferns that you will probably have to start disposing of stolons! Do this by burning them. And we also learned that Boston Ferns produce little grape-sized bulbils/nodules/tuber-like things that can be used to propagate the fern too.

Boston Ferns are really difficult to kill, so they make a great indoor plant. I caution against them as an outdoor plant as they can take over and once they get established, you really struggle to get rid of them. Trust me – I spent 5 years of my childhood trying to eradicate them – my punishment for being naughty was to dig up Boston Fern Stolons and nodules – I was a very naughty kid so I spent a lot of time doing this.

Read more about Can You Use Rose Food On Other Plants? 

Why do ferns grow stolons?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cut off Boston fern stolons?

Yes. You can replant the stolons, or dispose of them - preferably by burning them. This is an invasive species and if you throw it away in the organic matter garbage, it will grow in somebodies compost and spread.

What can I do with fern stolons?

Cut them off and replant them. Or burn them to destroy them. Do not dispose of them in the organic matter garbage as they will contaminate compost and will spread this fern into other people's gardens where it will be a pest. It is a bad garden plant because it takes over, and it also becomes an invasive species in the wild, damaging indigenous plants.

Why do ferns grow stolons?

They grow stolons as a method of spreading and expanding their plant size.

What are the runners on Boston fern?

Runners or stolons are little shoots of fern that look like a fern dangling on the end of a stalk. They will touch the ground somewhere normally and take root allowing the fern to grow bigger and expands.

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