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What’s eating my fern

My mum has just given me three ferns, as they are going mad in her garden. Two are fine and I’ve planted them in the ground, but this one looks to have been nibbled nearly to nothing. Does anyone have an idea what is the problem, and what I can do about it if it’s not too late? It is just in a pot for transportation, it has been in the ground and I am hoping to add it to one of my shady borders if I can salvage it. Many thanks.

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    Have you got a photo @lauraannejones?
    Ferns are usually quite trouble free, so nothing springs to mind. Are they all the same type?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Post a picture please. I have many ferns in all sorts of shapes varieties and colours and not have ever been eaten by anything 
  • Hi, sorry! I thought I had added a photo. Here it is. I don’t think it was this bad when I got it, but there doesn’t seem to be too much of it left and I can’t see any new shoots coming at the bottom.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Certainly does look nibbled which I'm surprised at. Has it been dug out the ground and put in the pot ? 
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,368
    Looks like it has suffered a sawfly infestation. Nothing much you can do about it now, just cut down the affected fronds and wait for new fronds to grow. Maybe try scraping off the top layer of compost to reduce the number of any pupating larvae.

    I have never managed to kill a fern by removing all fronds, they always grow back.
  • Hi @BirminghamMarc1972 yes it was taken out of the ground and just put into a pot for transporting. I seem to remember it didn’t look too great when I got it, but don’t think it was this bad.

    Thanks @steephill I’ll do that and wait for it to come back 👍🏻
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    I'd agree with @steephill. Cut back and it'll recover. They're quite hard to kill.  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you @Fairygirl
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    Make sure it's well watered while in the pot too. If you plant it out, do the same until it's growing away well  :)
    At worst, if it doesn't survive, you have the others, and if they're happy, they'll spread around the garden. I have some which are slightly too happy  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thanks @Fairygirl I think my mum’s were a bit too happy as well!! So at least I know she has plenty more she can send my way if this one doesn’t make it 😊
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