Propagating Ferns: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing from Suckers

Propagating Ferns: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing from Suckers

Are you looking to expand your indoor garden with lush and vibrant ferns? Propagating ferns from suckers is a simple and rewarding way to cultivate new plants. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of propagating ferns, perfect for beginners looking to enhance their green thumb skills. Learn how to successfully propagate ferns and watch your collection flourish with this easy-to-follow guide.

Understanding Fern Propagation

Fern propagation is the process of growing new fern plants from existing ones. One common method of fern propagation is through suckers, which are small offshoots that grow from the main plant.

What are Suckers?

Suckers are small shoots that develop from the roots or base of a fern plant. These suckers can be easily separated from the parent plant and replanted to grow into new ferns. They are a natural way for ferns to reproduce and spread in their environment.

Benefits of Propagating Ferns from Suckers

  1. Cost-effective: Propagating ferns from suckers is a cost-effective way to expand your fern collection without having to purchase new plants.

  2. Maintains Genetic Characteristics: By propagating ferns from suckers, you can ensure that the new plants will have the same genetic characteristics as the parent plant.

  3. Easy Process: Propagating ferns from suckers is a relatively simple process that does not require any specialized equipment or skills. It is a beginner-friendly method of fern propagation.

Overall, propagating ferns from suckers is a convenient and rewarding way to grow your fern garden.

Preparing for Propagation

Before you start propagating ferns from suckers, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need and understand the process. Here are some key steps to prepare for successful propagation:

Choosing the Right Fern Species

Not all fern species can be propagated from suckers, so it’s important to choose the right species for your propagation project. Some common ferns that can be propagated from suckers include Boston Ferns, Maidenhair Ferns, and Staghorn Ferns. Research the specific requirements of the fern species you choose to ensure successful propagation.

Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials

To propagate ferns from suckers, you will need a few essential tools and materials. These may include sharp scissors or pruning shears for cutting the suckers, a clean container filled with well-draining potting mix, and a spray bottle for misting the newly propagated ferns. Make sure you have everything you need on hand before you begin the propagation process.

Selecting Healthy Suckers

When selecting suckers for propagation, it’s important to choose healthy, disease-free specimens. Look for suckers that are actively growing and have plenty of green foliage. Avoid selecting suckers that are wilted, discolored, or showing signs of damage. Healthy suckers are more likely to successfully root and grow into new fern plants.

Propagating Ferns from Suckers

Ferns are beautiful and versatile plants that can easily be propagated from suckers. By following a few simple steps, even beginners can successfully grow new ferns from existing plants.

Division Method

One popular method for propagating ferns from suckers is the division method. This involves carefully separating the suckers or offsets from the parent plant and replanting them in their own pots. Make sure to use a sharp, sterile knife to cleanly cut the sucker away from the parent plant to avoid damaging either plant.

Planting Suckers in Soil

Once you have successfully divided the suckers from the parent plant, it’s time to plant them in soil. Choose a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Plant the suckers at the same depth they were growing in the parent plant, and water them thoroughly to help them establish their roots in their new pots.

Caring for Newly Propagated Ferns

After planting the suckers in soil, it’s important to provide them with the proper care to ensure their growth and development. Keep the newly propagated ferns in a warm, humid environment with indirect sunlight. Water them regularly, making sure the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged. As the ferns grow, you can gradually acclimate them to brighter light and drier conditions.

By following these simple steps for propagating ferns from suckers, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own beautiful ferns from existing plants. Happy propagating!


In conclusion, propagating ferns from suckers is a rewarding and relatively simple process that can bring new life and vibrancy to your indoor or outdoor garden. By following the steps outlined in this beginner’s guide, you can successfully grow your own ferns and enjoy the lush green foliage they provide. Remember to be patient and attentive to the needs of your ferns, and you will soon be rewarded with a thriving collection of these beautiful plants. Happy propagating!