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Welcome - Malaysian Tropical RainForest Garden Blog.


Here is where I share all my tropical garden design, concepts, themes & experiences, secrets and tips in gardening, plant care, my plant discoveries, experiments of my trials & errors.

I'm blessed with the Hot & Wet Tropical Climate and my endeavour with Tropical Garden & Rare, Exotic Plants.

I am a Plant Enthusiast and Gardening is a major part of my life where I love to share my thoughts, experiences & life work.

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Different Types of Tassel Ferns


This particular type has a cascading effect where the plant rather grow downward instead of upward. It has a fern like feather where the often mistaken for a fern,
rather it is a fern ally closer to a moss genes.

Currently there is a huge classification ID brawl taking place on which one goes where. And so, these Huperzia & Lycopodium had it's names interchanged and reclassified the updated version is ignored by majority.

Below are the list of the different types of Tassel ferns that I had managed to take a closer look. Please do click on the names (link) for detailed information about it.

Also I had wrote detailed information on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns
Do check on this link for the information.










Do share your experience and thoughts concerning this particular type of plant and would greatly appreciate your tips and suggestion on your care and cultivation for this tassel ferns.





This is based on my years of experience of care and cultivating these Tassel Ferns - the Huperzia species.

The ones that I currently care for: 
Huperzia phlegmaria
Huperzia nummularifolia
Huperzia squarrosa 
Huperzia carinata

And the one from the nursery: Huperzia goebellii

Here - I share the details: 

MEDIUM: 
I use Coconut chuck - chips which I had cut and placed them around the root ball.

WATERING: 
Once a Day - Just keeping them lightly moist but not over-watered as it can cause crown rot.
The Medium must be fast draining by the next day.

LIGHT: 
To be placed in an indirect shaded area. 
Too direct Sun can burn the foliage - Too shaded can cause plant stagnation and rot.

FERTILIZER: 
I use Osmocote as I find it is the best solution - other fertilizers tend to burn the plant.

PLACEMENT: 
Airy and good airy movement is good for the plant.

Huperzia is a sensitive plant and therefore good care is required. 
 Once it is established it is fairly easy to maintain in a long duration of time.

How to Care for Blue Tassel Fern - Huperzia Goebellii


This particular Tassel Fern is considered rare and difficult to find. If sold in nursery, it would very expensive and usually with limited number. Often, it is easier to exchange and cultivate with gardener's friends.

These have leafy structure has a weeping willow like formation closer to silvery bluish green tones based on the its lighting and vigor which is very much contributed due to the humidity factor.



I had wrote on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns in detail. 
Do check on this link for the information.

How to Care for Tassel Fern - Huperzia carinata


This particular Tassel Fern is considered rare and difficult to find. If sold in nursery, it would very expensive and usually with limited number. Often, it is easier to exchange and cultivate with gardener's friends.

Locally it is known as "Pakis Tali kasut" resembling shoe lace ferns. And interesting features that leaves looks like angular shaped leaf structure for this particular Huperzia has a circular shape.

The Huperzia tetrasticha has a square formation on it's stem. Both are considered rare.












I had wrote on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns in detail. 
Do check on this link for the information.

How to Care for Tassel Fern - Huperzia phlegmaria



This particular Tassel Fern - Huperzia phlegmaria is the most common type and easily available in most nurseries. I would recommend to start with this one first if you fancy growing this and once you had managed to grow this one for few months and confident, then proceed with different rare species as they can be very expensive too.


Locally these are known as "Pokok Mata Gergaji" or "Pakis Mata Gergaji"
I find this particular local ID seemed to be more creative as the leaves resembles a fern that looks like  "Saw blades"

Also there are different local names based on different regions for this particular one.
I had found that it is also known as "Sari Gading Betina" or "Rambut Puteri" 


New shoots will constantly appear from the root-ball when the plant is healthy and settled well in the garden. This particular one is easiest to cultivate and grow.


I had wrote on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns in detail. 
Do check on this link for the information.





How to Care for Tassel Fern - Huperzia squarrosa


This particular Tassel Fern is considered rare and difficult to find. 
If sold in nursery, it would very expensive and usually with limited number. 
Often, it is easier to exchange and cultivate with gardener's friends.


Locally it is known as "pakis ekor kucing" resembling the tail of a cat. 

In the beginning I was finding this one challenging as I had lost 2 main stands started dying. 
Slowly but surely, the plant picked up and grew more new fronds.


The life of this plant is at the roots. If the roots are somehow effected - the whole plant will die.




I had wrote on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns in detail. 
Do check on this link for the information.

How to Care for Tassel Fern - Huperzia nummularifolia




This particular Tassel Fern - Huperzia nummularifolia is another common type sold similar with the Huperzia phlegmaria the most common type and easily available in most nurseries. 

This one is slightly rare but still available in comparison with the rest of the huperzia types. The rest can prove expensive and difficult to cultivate and grows ever so slowly and easily die if something is not right with the plant.


Locally it is known as "pakis sisik naga" or "pakis sisik ikan" which appears to be like fish scales or dragon scales upon it. However these were used as traditional herb medicines but there is no proper scientific prove to identify that these are actually medicinal.






I had wrote on how to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns in detail. 
Do check on this link for the information.

How to Care & Cultivate Tassel Ferns


This particular type has a cascading effect where the plant rather grow downward instead of upward. It has a fern like feather where the often mistaken for a fern,
rather it is a fern ally closer to a moss genes.

Currently there is a huge classification ID brawl taking place on which one goes where. And so, these Huperzia & Lycopodium had it's names interchanged and reclassified the updated version is ignored by majority.


However, my concern is much more focused on the Care & Cultivation rather the identification. Therefore, Hope these details may help you - work out the necessarily information for best care for this plants.


FIRST THING FIRST:

I must ask you when you purchase this plant, in what condition did you receive it?
How did it come? 
Is it planted in a potting mix or a cocopeat?
Or is it rolled up tightly - its root-ball in a wire mesh?

I understand - if these were sold in a rolled wire mesh, chances are these were recently harvested in some forest or jungle and sold haphazardly without letting the ferns acclimated nor with suitable medium that would make this plant last even within few weeks.

MEDIUM:

COCONUT HUSK CHIPS.
I had tried few medium types and failed miserably, the fern fronds dried out crisp. Over the years of careful checking and planting I found the best optimum medium material:

Coconut husk chuck chips. You may personally have to collect the coconut husk yourself and trim them using scissors and cut them in small chucks. 

HANGING PLASTIC POT WITH A HOLE CUT OUT AT THE BOTTOM
You may also need a plastic hanging pot where you have cut of a considerable hole for the root ball to sit inside carefully and so the plant is planted upside down. This helps the water to drain out downwards while watering at the top of the pot.

Place the root-ball carefully inside and layer tightly with the coconut husk chips as so the root ball do not fall off from the cut out bottom side, you may tie it up with a wire or a string and fasten it together at the top to give it a support as it won't fall off later in the future.


WATERING

Watering is important. Do water it daily but make sure that it is fast draining. The coconut should able to hold the moisture for a day or so but it should not be too soaking wet (muddy wet that it can cause root rot) It should hold enough water that it dries out within a day.

The trick is not to let the root ball totally dried out before the next watering. If this occurs, you will notice the leaves start to loose color and may appear it's vibrant green slowly turning paper crisp and burn drying out. Sometimes, it may appear to be withering due to too hot and not enough water to co-op the water loss.

You can water it heavily from the top to bottom also spraying on the foliage. Continue to experiment and see how the plant handles it. If the plant is doing well, it will sprout out new shoots and often grow upwards.

If you have Rain Water. It would be the Best for this one.
Next option would be Filtered Water. Chlorinated water will cause this plant to burn at it edges.

LIGHT:

It requires few hours of sunlight, at least indirect bright light.
Does not do well in total shade with heavy dark areas.

I had placed saplings and they all slowly rotted and died.
I think due to - too wet and it had caused root rot.
Airy & brightly lit areas helps it to regulate this fern for better overall growth.


HUMIDITY:

This one does good with good humidity.
Placing this under a water body, like under a pond or below a water feature helps to regulate the humidity well and keep the greens well maintained.

FEEDING:

The best is dried banana peels on weekly basis.
I use to put in fresh banana peels but it had attracted fruit flies and worse squirrels and tree shrews that came investigating due to the aroma and wreck apart the crown and frond of this ferns.

Also, Foliar Fertilizer, spray weekly on half strength works best for this type of fern allies.


PROPAGATION:

I had totally missed out this one. Thanks Salie from Australia for pointing out this one.
Propagating this one is quite complex but not impossible - I had failed many times with few success that I had just left it to grow in their individual pot.

Method 1: Rootball Division.

The best chances of multiplying this particular type of Huperzia is to divide the rootball into few portion according to it's growth, similar like separating a fern root ball - just make sure there are fibrous roots attached to the stem as these can easily break off.

Method 2: Layering

This one is less risky - Lay the tip of the tassel fern frond into another potting medium and it will slowly sprout out new growth from there. It may be taking months to see visible successful growth but eventually the plant will start it's own colony from that connection.
This requires a lot of patience and sometimes even after many months - there can be no visible growth taking place.

Cuttings: Failed Attempt.
However based on my experience - cuttings seemed to be the most challenging endeavor and risky - I had not managed to get even one to grow as all of them succumb to rot or dried away.





This is based on my years of experience of care and cultivating these Tassel Ferns - the Huperzia species.


The ones that I currently care for: 

Huperzia phlegmaria

Huperzia nummularifolia

Huperzia squarrosa 

Huperzia carinata


And the one from the nursery: Huperzia goebellii


Here - I share the details: 


MEDIUM: 

I use Coconut chuck - chips which I had cut and placed them around the root ball.


WATERING: 

Once a Day - Just keeping them lightly moist but not over-watered as it can cause crown rot.

The Medium must be fast draining by the next day.


LIGHT: 

To be placed in an indirect shaded area. 

Too direct Sun can burn the foliage - Too shaded can cause plant stagnation and rot.


FERTILIZER: 

I use Osmocote as I find it is the best solution - other fertilizers tend to burn the plant.


PLACEMENT: 

Airy and good airy movement is good for the plant.


Huperzia is a sensitive plant and therefore good care is required. 

 Once it is established it is fairly easy to maintain in a long duration of time.


Different Types of Ferns & Allies


Most of the Ferns here in Tropical Region are hardy and easy to care for especially the native types. These can easily weather the storm - so to say, able to handle hot dry weather to daily open to heavy downpour rain. 

Some of these are sensitive compared to others. 
They may require more humidity and proper maintenance & care.

Here in the list however are just the basic ornament types that are commonly available
and their ID is based on these relevant available information.
These are the ones that I cultivate and my experience with them so far.

Do click on their names for the link
that show more detailed information about the specific types of Ferns & Allies.











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