How to Split a Boston Fern

Splitting or dividing a Boston Fern is a very easy project that you can accomplish in just a few minutes.

You Will Need
  • Potting soil, fern mix
  • Sharp knife
  • Pots
  • Newspapers
  • Scissors or pruning shears
  • Plant food for ferns
Step One: Dividing the Plant

Turn the potted fern on its side onto newspapers and gently pull it or tap it from the existing pot. This is more easily accomplished if the plant soil is very dry. Once you have removed it from the pot, use the sharp knife to cut the root ball into two or more pieces, depending upon how large the plant is. This will not harm the plant However, trying to separate the roots carefully to loosen them can harm it and even cause enough damage to kill the plant due to shock.

Step Two: Repotting

Once you have the plant divided, put a small amount of soil in the bottom of each pot, insert the new plant and root section, and surround it with more soil. Water thoroughly with a good water soluble fern plant food. This would also be a good time to trim away any brown tips or yellowing or dry fronds. It may be a while before your plant resumes growing, but this is not unusual, so care for it as usual.