The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Hi folks,I have this fern growing out from under my shed which sits on slabs

Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi folks,

I have this fern growing out from under my shed which sits on slabs, how the plant came to be there I don't know. I'd like to transfer it to grow in another part of my garden but there is no way I can dig it out. What should I do, can I take cuttings from it?

Here's a pic of it.

I have updated this question and added more pics.

EDIT (05/05/20) Hi I'm back, I can't believe it is almost seven years ago I first posted in 'Growsonyou', anyway I decided to leave this plant alone, it just keeps coming back every spring without care or attention so thought I'd add another photo of it as it begins to re-establish itself and how it looks at this time of the year (pic 1).

Fa112 Beads_and_fern_015 Beads_and_fern_018



I'm not at all certain that this is a fern as such - it looks like Bracken, which is a type of fern, but not one you really want in your garden, since its practically impossible to get rid of and spreads. A close up of the fronds would be useful for better ID

12 Sep, 2013


I think that it is the Male Fern which spreads by spores and it can get quite large. I would still suggest pulling it out whilst it is a manageable size.

12 Sep, 2013


I agree, I thought it was probably Dryopteris felis mas, which grows like a weed round here. Not easy to pull out because of the strange way they grow, I would weedkiller it and buy yourself a more desirable one for the garden.
If it's bracken the fronds will be growing out from a central stem rather than individually from the base, but the answer is the same only more so!

12 Sep, 2013


Many thanks for the replies guys, I'll take the advice and weedkiller it first thing tomorrow. I did suspect it was a weed until I saw some ferns for sale in Morrisons today which looked similar to the one in my garden. I'll pop up and buy some on Saturday.

12 Sep, 2013


This is an interesting dilemma so before I put this on Goypeadia - can you explain a bit more about how to identify Bracken from Ferns to keep! many thanks Denise.

12 Sep, 2013


Drc, bracken has several thick stems with the fronds growing out of it several inches (say one foot) from the ground. With a fern the fronds start almost at ground level. I would say that any 'fern' that appears suddenly in the garden and grows quickly is not one to keep!

12 Sep, 2013


Thanks Bulba, sorry having reread my entry - I actually meant I would nominate this.

12 Sep, 2013


Found this on the net:

"So, how _do_ you tell Bracken from other ferns you might come across?
1. Its fronds come up singly, not in tufts or “shuttlecocks” like many other ferns.
2. It’s 3-pinnate
3. Take a mature leaf and look at the underside. That’s where, on most ferns, the spores are The spores are the things which, after a complicated life-cycle, eventually give rise to baby ferns. They are massed together in clumps or lines, in some species with a membranous lid or flap covering them. The patterns these form are often distinctive. In the case of Bracken, the spores occur in a continuous line around the edge of each leaf-segment, and are covered by a continuous flap formed partly by a very narrow membrane and partly by the edge of the leaflet being rolled over. If you’re unlucky and get a frond that’s not sporing, the rolled-over edge is still there (as long as the frond isn’t very young). "

13 Sep, 2013


Glad you typed all that, Kildermorie, saved me the trouble. It's all in the fronds, telling the difference, as described in your answer.

13 Sep, 2013


Thanks again. Since this has attracted some debate I've decided to take another couple of pictures of this. I've not set about it with weedkiller yet.
in the first picture (the 2nd pic in original post) I have pulled it out and this was revealed - please note this part is above the slabs under the shed and the root is still in the ground, I didn't try to pull it right out as I thought it would be better to put
the weedkiller on this exposed part.

The other picture is of the underside of the most mature leaf as requested.

It is also worth mentioning that it has been growing there for 3 or 4 years, seems to die off in the winter but comes back again in spring.

13 Sep, 2013


Not bracken then. Bracken is a fern however, just a pestiferous one, poisonous to cattle. Although some country people used to eat the very young uncurled fronds! And just checking whether the fronds are growing out like branches from a central stem is a lot easier than looking at the spores if you are unfamiliar with ferns, as it is the only fern that does that as far as I know.

13 Sep, 2013


The problem with the spores test is that you need the spores to apply it! Bill's leaf doesn't show any spores and I have just pulled a fern that doesn't either (could be due to the dry summer?). But this is definitely a fern.

13 Sep, 2013


yep, fern, even though we can't see the underside.

14 Sep, 2013

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?