Propogating sword fern

Asked June 22, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT

Hi! We have several mature sword ferns growing vigorously in our dense native woodland garden. It is possible to use spores from these plants to start ferns in other parts of the garden? What would be the timing and technique, or where could we learn more? Thanks! The Sivam Family

Washington County Oregon propagation ferns horticulture

1 Response

Dear Sivam Family,

Good day and thank you for using Ask an Expert.


You’re in luck! You asked about spore propagation of our native Western fern at just the right time. You can collect the mature spores between June 1st and August 30th. After you “sow” the spores, the main requirement will be your patience because it can take about 6 months for any sign of greenery to occur.


These resources describe the entire process:
- Plant Propagation Protocol for Polystichum munitum: http://courses.washington.edu/esrm412/protocols/POMU.pdf
- Plant Data Sheet: http://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Plants/Swordfern.htm

Jean