Issue Number #31
Issue Date Autumn 2005
Number of Articles Online 1 Articles
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Title Growing Ferns From Spores
Author Heather Cumming


  • A clean smooth house brick
  • A shallow baking dish
  • 2 litre icecream container
  • Vinegar
  • New plastic bag
  • Spores

Collection of Spores

Pick a fertile frond and place on a folded sheet of paper in a warm position. The sproes are like fine dust, and are released in a few days.


Bake the shallow dish and brick in a hot oven (as for bread).

Cut the bottom out of the icecream container. Retain the sides! Scrub well with hot water and vinegar. Do not use BLEACH - it's a killer! When the brick and dish have cooled off in the oven, put the brick in the dish, threading the brick through the icecream carton sides. Do not touch the brick and tray too much and have everything (hands too) very clean.

Pop the whole caboodle straight into a new plastic bag so no dust etc floats in overnight. Collect the spores. Fill the tray with boiled water - not too full or it sloshes. When brick is moist (like overnight), sprinkle spores on top surface. Close the plastic bag with a tie or knot, put it on a shelf in a warmish room and try to forget it for months. Then peep! If you've got greenness coming, you're on your way. Leave all as is until little fernlets are big enough to lift off. The whole thing takes ages - like 18 months.

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