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Do macho ferns like to be rootbound?

Rick Asked

Do macho ferns like to be rootbound?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Rick: Macho Fern or Giant Sword Fern (Nephrolepis biserrata ‘Macho’) always makes a statement with its large, arching fronds. It is considered a tropical for Kentucky gardeners. Although it can be overwintered indoors, it is only hardy in USDA zones 9b-11. Macho ferns are most commonly grown in containers and definitely prefer to be snug than given too much space.  Root-bound plants will eventually decline in health. If they become root-bound they should be transplanted into a larger container or divided. When the roots are growing out of the pot, it is time to give it more space or divide into more than one plant. The general rule when repotting is to increase the size of the container by two inches. Of course, go smaller if you end up dividing the fern.

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