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October is the ideal time to split up Elkhorn ferns. These ferns grow naturally high up in the rainforest canopy and yet are incredibly tolerant of many garden conditions. The Elkhorn fern lives for many years and produces separate shields that can be removed and mounted onto boards. Marine ply is ideal to use as it is waterproof and will not break down easily. Remove separate shields and trim the extra root mass from the back of the shield. Pack the back with damp sphagnum moss and secure with a nylon stocking or a strip of stretch material. Place in a light, humid position. New shields will cover over the nylon stocking and new roots will adhere themselves to the board.

Alternatively, a hanging basket is perfect for growing a specimen Elkhorn fern. As they grow they form a circle around the whole basket and create a living sculptural ball shape over a period of years. Be sure to select a quality galvanised hanging basket with sturdy chains to reduce the risk of the chain rusting out.

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