Japanese Painted Ghost Ferns - Candidates for Fall Dividing - August 2023

That photo (above) shows the five Ghost Ferns (Athyrium 'Ghost') that I planted (as a set of four) in the Spring of 2021. They were from the Morton Arboretum Spring sale and they've thrived since they were added to our backyard shade garden.  Why are there five Ghost Ferns when I planted four?  No...they're not spreading ferns like the Ostrich Fern that sends out underground runners.  

The reason that there are (now) five of these ferns is because last Fall, I divided one of them into two.   At that time, I only divided one because I was a little afraid.  I didn't want to kill all of them off. I did the same dividing with some Shaggy Shield ferns and my fears were well-placed as not all of the divisions made it this year.  

But, the Ghost Fern division not only survived, but it appears to have had a good year and is a vigorous, healthy fern.  

Why do I bring this up?  First...to remind myself and to help prioritize my Fall dividing program.  But, also because of one of my 20233 to-do list items:  #10 fern upgrade.  


Last year, I took four Ghost Ferns and made five.

This Fall...I should take those same five ferns (3 originals and 2 divisions) and divide the remaining three originals.  Take that five and make eight (2 divisions from 2022 and now 6 divisions from 2023) Ghost Ferns that I can take other places in the garden.  I'd have three ferns to plant in a new place.

Where are those places?  I'd start with water feature area where I recently added a pair of Crested Wood Ferns.  I'd also like to put a few back by the Hicks Yew Hedge - where the Autumn Ferns didn't work last Fall.  With just three plants to use, I suppose that I'll have to make a choice.  More to come, once the rest of the 'Candidates' for dividing emerge this Summer/Fall.

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