Anonymous added on August 14, 2017 | Answered

I have a tatting fern about 5 years old. It was adorable at first but now it is trying to revert, losing its orderly shaped fronds and getting weedy looking fronds. I have tried cutting these off in the past but there are now too many of them. If I divide it will it go back to being orderly? Or should I just go find a new baby fern?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 15, 2017

It sounds like you could be seeing fertile fronds, the reproductive structures of the plant, when in the past you have had mainly sterile fronds (the orderly looking ones). I am not sure if dividing the fern would increase the proportion of the orderly, sterile fronds, but it's worth a try. The smaller ferns after division may spend a few years storing up energy again before attempting to reproduce.

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