Fern Courses


Learn which ferns occur naturally in Australia, how to identify them, where to obtain accurate information on them, how to propagate them, growing and using ferns in baskets, terrariums, and landscapes.
There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction & Resources
2. Culture - Planting, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding etc
3. Propagation
4. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties. Maidenhairs, tree ferns, stags, elks, common ground ferns.
5. Other Important Groups - Blechnum, Nephrolepis, Pteris etc.
6. Other Varieties -Hares foot ferns, Bracken, Fans.
7. Making The Best Use Of Native Ferns. In containers, in the ground, indoor plants, growing and showing etc.
8. Special Assignment - On one genera of ferns.

Fee Code: S2
Enrol online


A detailed look at the identification and culture of ferns. You learn to propagate (spores, division, tissue culture), different groupings (e.g. epiphytes, ground ferns, tree ferns) and both common & uncommon species. Growing techniques (baskets, indoor/outdoor containers, terrariums) and cultural methods (soils, watering, pest & disease control) are also examined. There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction -classification & resources
2. Culture -planting, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding, pruning, etc.
3. Propagation -spore, division.
4. Common Varieties -maidenhairs, tree ferns, stags, elks, common ground ferns.
5. Asplenium, Blechnum, Nephrolepis and Pteris.
6. Other Varieties
7. Growing in containers, in the ground, as indoor plants, showing, growing to sell etc.
8. Special Assignment -On one genera of ferns.

Fee Code: S2
Enrol online

Click here to go to our enrolment form and fees page


To most people ferns are very graceful and lush and invoke an image of coolness, calmness and peacefulness. Though lacking flowers they have enormous variety in plant size and form and in the texture, shape and colour of the fronds. Ferns are very adaptable and can be grown in a wide variety of situations. While most prefer moist, shaded conditions there are ferns that are suited to open sunny positions, growing naturally in rocky crevices, exposed coastal cliffs, high on living tree trunks or on fallen trees, in alpine bogs, even in semi arid areas. Some species of ferns are tiny with fronds only one cell thick, others can reach a height of 15m or more. Some ferns will spread to form huge colonies, while others will grow like climbers.

There are at least 10,000 species of ferns throughout the world of which Australia has around 450, belonging to at least 118 genera. More than 300 species are native to Queensland, around 170 in N.S.W., 120 in Victoria, 95 in Tasmania, 50 in Sth Australia and 65 in Western Australia.

*Some ferns, such as maidenhairs, can commonly die back to ground level, particularly at certain times of the year. Don't throw them away, they will regrow.
*Carefully read the label provided with your plant when you obtained it. If a label was not supplied with the fern you may need to obtain information about how best to grow the fern from the person who supplied it. Other useful sources of information are your local fern society or club and in the many publications on ferns that are available .

Ferns are pruned for the following reasons:
* To remove dead or diseased fronds. This helps improve the plants appearance and helps reduce the likelihood of pests/diseases spreading to other plants.
* To promote new growth. Often when older or damaged fronds are removed then the fern will experience a flush of new growth.
* To control the size of the plant.

Clump forming ferns such as Nephrolepis can over time form thick almost impenetrable tangles of foliage and roots. This can seriously reduce water penetration into the soil and result in serious nutrient depletion. Often this problem can be overcome by simply thinning out the clump. In severe cases the whole clump may need to be dug and the soil improved before replanting with smaller segments from the former clump. Excess segments of the clump can be composted or planted elsewhere.


Printed Title by our Staff

A valuable reference book for enthusiasts covering culture, shadehouses / greenhouses, propagation, pests, container growing, resource listings, etc. Plus a directory to hundreds of fern varieties.
80 Colour Pics, 96 pages.

Click here for the Bookshop (for ordering / enquiries)