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GROW FERNS ON THE OUTSIDE OF A POT

We are going to grow ferns on the outside of a pot.

Get one long stem of a fern plant. The long stem and leaves
that grow from it is called a frond. Let it dry for a week
or so.

Get a little clay flower pot. Wash it very carefully with
soapy water, and rinse it until the soap bubbles are gone.
Put the pot into a large bowl of water, so it can soak. Pour
out the water and put in clean water five or six times during
the day you are soaking it. The pot will be very clean, and
will not have anything in the clay that would keep the ferns
from growing.

Take the pot out of the bowl of water and fill the pot with
wet newspaper or paper towels. Get a saucer, and put some
water in it, but don't fill the saucer all the way, or you'll
have a spill. Turn the pot upside down, and put it into the
saucer. Put the saucer and pot onto a tray so that you can
carry it when it needs to be moved.

Look at the fern frond. Turn it over and look on the bottom
sides of its leaves. The tiny black spots are fern seeds,
called "spores." Hold the frond over the pot and shake the
frond. Some of the spores will fall off the frond onto your
pot. They will stick to the pot because the pot is wet.

Get a glass bowl or jar that is big enough to fit, upside
down, over the pot and saucer. Turn the bowl or jar upside
down, and put it onto the tray, so that the saucer and pot
are inside of the bowl (or jar). Take the tray to a place
where there isn't much light, not near a window, where it can
stay.

When the pot looks dry, pick up the bowl, and put a little
bit of water into the saucer. The paper inside the pot will
carry the water to the sides and bottom of the pot and keep
the pot wet.

After three or four weeks, you will see little green spots
where the spores are. The green spots are called "pro-thal-
lia." They are like the moms and dads of the baby fern
plants that you are growing.

After about two months, the prothallia (green spots) will dry
up, and the baby fern plants will start to grow. After the
ferns have had a chance to grow a little bit, each plant
could be put into a pot with potting soil. When you do this,
you must be very careful not to hurt the tiny roots of the
ferns.


 
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