Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not promote, support
or recommend plants featured in "Plant of the Week." Please consult your local Extension
office for plants suitable for your region.
Ferns make a shade garden. Their delicate, wispy fronds cool the mind almost as effectively
as the air conditioner cools the body. And of the ferns, the favorite woodland fern
of most gardeners is the beautiful silvery-white Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum pictum).
The Japanese painted fern is a hardy, deciduous fern that grows to 18-inches tall
and wide. The fronds are twice compound with the blades silvery-white and suffused
with green. The stem of the frond (the rachis) is red or purple, giving a delightful
blend of colors that give rise to the common name.
I find no reference as to when the Japanese painted fern was introduced into our gardens,
but it was probably one of the innumerable new plants Victorian gardeners introduced
during the middle of the 19th century.
During the height of the Victorian period, ferns became popular in parlors and in
gardens. In parlors, ferns were encased under glass bell jars or sometimes used as
part of elaborate table decorations. A non-green fern such as the Japanese painted
fern must have caused quite a stir when it was introduced.
A few years ago, I became a bit more acquainted with this fern than intended, thanks
to some unused space on my Visa card. At a nursery trade show, I came across a fern
supplier selling all manner of fern liners - small fern starts that had been grown
in tissue culture. Individually, the price was low, but because I had to buy them
by the flat and because enough flats had to be purchased to fill a case, I soon found
myself the proud owner of more ferns than I knew what to do with and no longer bothered
by pesky space on my Visa card.
The Japanese painted fern quickly proved to be my favorite. Painted ferns that were
planted away from the sprinklers and into clayey soil on my dry hillside are about
the same size today as they were a decade ago. Plants that were planted into well-amended
soils with ample organic matter and irrigation have grown well and make an attractive
foot-tall groundcover bed that shines in the shade.
But the painted ferns that have done the best are some planted in a bed filled with
old potting soil. This bed receives sun from noon to 4 p.m. but is far enough from
the trees that there is no root competition. These plants are nearly 2-feet tall and
wide. They are so happy in this site that new sporelings are popping up at the margins
of the planting. Japanese painted fern is not normally adapted to sunny sites, but
because this bed is uniformly moist, they seem to tolerate the midsummer sun without
Of the dozen or so ferns I have grown from spores, the Japanese painted fern has proven
to be the easiest species to work with. Growing ferns from spores takes lots of patience
but little actual work. I collect spores from the standing fronds in the garden sometime
in November. After drying the fronds for a week or two in an envelope, the dust size
spores can be easily harvested by gently tapping the fronds on a piece of white paper.
Fill a new plastic pot with fresh, moist potting soil and then dust the spores across
the surface of the soil. Seal the pot inside a plastic bag and place it on a warm
windowsill where it gets good light but not direct sun. Then wait.
In about 10 weeks, a green algae-like film should begin growing across the surface
of the pot. In another couple months, some of this green mat will begin to develop
small ear-shaped structures called prothali. Up until this stage it's best to keep
the pot sealed in its plastic bag and maintain moisture and humidity near 100 percent.
After another couple months, these prothali will produce small fronds and the plastic
should be removed in stages to acclimate the new plants to the real world environment.
When the first fronds begin forming the individual plants can be teased apart and
transplanted into bedding plant trays.
In another three to four months, the plants will be large enough to transplant into
a larger container prior to moving to the garden.
By: Gerald Klingaman, retired Extension Horticulturist - Ornamentals Extension News - June 27, 2003
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not maintain lists
of retail outlets where these plants can be purchased. Please check your local nursery
or other retail outlets to ask about the availability of these plants for your growing