Skip to Content

How to Transplant Ferns? A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Transplant Ferns? A Step-by-Step Guide

Sharing is caring!

Ferns are among the plants that do not flower. Although similar to flowering plants, Ferns have a root system, possess leaves, and have stems but do neither carry flowers nor seeds.

Since these plants do not have flowers or seeds to reproduce, they reproduce sexually through tiny spores.

The stunning leaves of Ferns are referred to as fronds and have a unique appearance. 

You can transplant ferns from a to b. This article will tell you how.

How to Transplant Ferns?

Before transplanting a Fern, it is vital to know what species it is and what growing conditions it requires. First, dig a hole around the Fern. When you pull the plant out, pull it on its roots rather than the fronds as it can tear the fern. Also, while taking it out, collect as much soil as possible with the plant. The safest time to transplant Ferns is in spring when it is in dormancy. Regarding the destination spot, you need to ensure the specific soil and light requirements are met.


When Is the Best Time to Transplant a Fern?

The perfect time to transplant a Fern is in early spring or fall. In the early spring, ferns should be transplanted just when the fiddleheads start to grow.

Be careful with fiddleheads while you transplant your Fern as the new growth is delicate. If you plan to do it in the fall, wait till the fronds of the Fern turn brown.

Fall is the ideal time for transplant as it is moist and cool. Most Ferns prefer a moist and cool environment for healthy growth.


Step by Step Instructions How to Transplant Ferns


Things Needed

Get a clean and sharp spade or a shovel before you begin to transplant your ferns. In addition, a knife will be handy to cut off any extra roots or fronds stuck on the Ferns.

After you replant the ferns to the new spot, provide them with water and plant food. For this purpose, prepare a water can or use a hose.

You will also need to add organic mulch and compost to the newly transplanted Fern.



Now using a clean spade or shovel, dig a circle around the Fern. It is recommended to dig straight down so you can get out most of the root ball.

Then pull out the Fern clump along with the roots. While you do this, keep brushing off the soil from the roots with a brush or by using your hands.

Using a knife or shovel, you have to cut the roots into quarters or halves. While you divide the roots, ensure that each set of roots has some leaves growing on it.


Preparing The New Location

It is important to know the species of Fern you are transplanting so that you can provide it with the right growing conditions.

Not considering the growth environment required by the Fern can result in the death of the plant.

It is recommended you prepare the new place of the Fern before you start with the transplant process.

The best is to choose a location that is similar to the one where you dug out the fern.

Prepare the new spot with a good amount of organic mulch and ensure the spot is in a shady location. Ferns prefer soil that is rich and well-draining.

At the new location, dig a hole that has a similar depth as the previous. While you do the digging, add compost into the soil to enhance its fertility.

Now put each division into the holes prepared. Once you have placed the divisions, cover the roots with soil compost and cram them down to help the plant adapt to the new environment.



Water your newly transplanted Ferns immediately after this process. Follow a weekly schedule for watering until the Fern has established itself.

Keep in mind that Ferns appreciate a moist environment so make sure your newly transplanted Fern does not dry out.

If you are growing the Fern in partial shade, water it more frequently as the water dries out more quickly compared to full shade.

Ferns placed in full shade do not require a lot of watering.


Mulch Requirements

Ferns prefer a thick layer of mulch that has pine needles and cedar bark in it.

It is ideal to add mulch during every growing season so that the soil remains moist and the plant stays protected from weeds.



Over-fertilizing your Ferns will pose a problem for them as these are light feeders and require very little fertilization. They generally do fine in moist soil and a thick layer of organic mulch.

To help your plant thrive add worm castings, compost, or leaves to enhance the soil. Avoid using commercial fertilizer on your newly planted Ferns.


How to Transplant Ferns from the Ground to a Pot?

You need to follow a few easy steps to transplant Ferns from the ground to a pot.

Get a pot that has drainage holes so that excess water drains out of the pot without damaging the Fern.

Avoid planting the Fern in a pot that will have lots of room as this will drown the plant in excess water.

Ferns have shallow roots, so they won’t really need a deep pot. So, in case you do not have a shallow pot, a normal gardening pot will work just fine.

The potting mix you prepare for planting the Fern in a pot should contain equal parts of sand, gardening soil, and peat moss.

After mixing these ingredients, it is important to pasteurize the mix so that no bacteria live in it.

Pasteurize the mix by covering it with a foil and baking it in an oven at a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.3 degrees Celsius).

After that, let the mix cool down before putting it into the pot.

Put the mix in the pot and add water to make it moist.

Dig the Fern out with a spade.

Gently break the soil while removing the root system. After you have the root ball out, shake it to loosen and remove excess soil from it.

Replant the Fern in the media you prepared earlier in the pot. Cover the root ball with the extra potting mix.

Keep watering until the soil becomes moist, and excess water starts to drain out of the bottom.

Position your newly planted Fern in a low-light area.


Transplanting an Overgrown Fern

Inspect the plant carefully and see if it requires replanting. The right time to transplant is when the Fern has grown out of the pot.

Take a shallow pot and fill it with a soilless medium. The soil should contain 50% of peat in it. Leave room for the roots to live as they don’t want to suffocate in a tight pot.

Now cut the large Fern into smaller sections, preferably halves, quarters, or one-thirds. Place each section in a separate pot.

If you have a bigger pot, dividing it in half will be perfect. After putting the Ferns into the pots, cover their roots with the soilless medium.

Water it frequently to provide moisture to the soil.


Frequently Asked Questions about Transplanting Ferns


Can I transplant Ferns from the wild?

Transplanting Ferns from the wild is illegal. Gardeners that illegally transplant Ferns from the wild lead to the extinction of certain species. You should only transplant Ferns that are grown on your property or inside your house.


What soil do transplanted Ferns prefer?

Transplanted Ferns do best if they are planted in the same soil and shade condition as where they come from. This will help them adapt to a new environment easily without causing any transplant shock. The Soil should contain peat, compost, and sand.

What To Read Next

Read the Article: Best Potting Mix for Vegetables

Recommended Ebook from Hydroponics Simplified: Get Started in Hydroponics

Opuntia humifusa Care
Opuntia Humifusa Care - Best Tips!
How to Transplant Banana Pups
How to Transplant Banana Pups? The Answer!
Comments are closed.