Growing Cinnamon Fern Plants Osmunda cinnamomea

How to grow cinnamon fern plants cheap. Osmunda cinnamomea fern pictures. Wild ferns. Dividing ferns.

Fern, Cinnamon

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This is a moisture loving, clump forming, vase shaped wild fern like the ostrich fern.

Its fronds can reach a height of 5 feet when it is grown under perfect conditions (boggy soil and shade). In less favorable conditions it will be considerably shorter.

In nature, Osmunda cinnamomea (sometimes misspelled cinamonea) grows wild along the banks of streams.

It produces 2 types of fronds: fertile and infertile. The showy, green ones are infertile. A fertile frond is depicted below.

Cinnamon fern fertile frond.

The cinnamon-colored grains are called sori. Sori is what produces spores. Fern spores are basically tiny seeds. Sori are the closest thing a fern produces to a flower.

Cinnamon ferns are deciduous. The first thing to emerge from the cool spring soil will be the infertile fronds. Only after several of these ornamental fronds have matured will the plant begin to produce fertile fronds. Once the fertile fronds begin to grow, the plant will stop producing infertile fronds.

Watch for hummingbirds as the fronds develop. They like to use the silver fuzz on the new fronds to line their nests.

You can grow these ferns in a sunny location, but only if you can keep them wet enough. Otherwise, they will perform better in shade.

They are very cold hardy (down to -40 degrees F.) but leave the dried fronds in place over the winter to protect the crowns.

Growing Ferns Cheap

Don’t worry, you don’t have to use the spores.

Fern spores are somewhat difficult to handle and take years to grow into mature plants. The spores of this fern are only viable for a short time. So, if you want to use them, act quickly.

Osmunda cinnamomea forms underground rhizomes that spread and send up new shoots. This is how the plant forms a clump or stand.

All you have to do is watch and wait.

Check around the main clump for new plants. When you find one, dig it up and move it to another damp, shady spot. As long as you don’t do this during hot, dry weather the new fern should handle the move easily.

Dividing Ferns

While most types of ferns can be propagated by division, I don’t recommend dividing cinnamon fern plants. They resent this degree of root disturbance and will sulk for a long time afterward. Better to just dig up the offsets.

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