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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a java fern ages ago but now it's starting to grow roots from the leaves, do they always do this? And leaves are growing out of leaves?

I accidentally snapped a leaf of while cleaning and couldn't be bothered getting it out, but I have noticed the tip of it has shot down roots into the ground and now leaves are growing off it all over the place.

Can I cut other leaves off and plant them?
 

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I was going to ask the same question, when I had a picture to show...
I have a fern that grew 5 or six new leaves with rhizome and all from the tip of an existing, healthy leaf... If I think of it I'll take a picture tonight... Looks pretty funny...
 

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Yup, it's normal. That's one way that Java Ferns propagate, by producing adventitious plantlets on the bottom of the old leaves. Just wait until the plantlet has a couple small leaves and roots and you can pluck it off and watch it grow.
 

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Hi sean,
It's a normal form of asexual propagation for many types of ferns. Indian Fern, Ceratopteris thalictroides, produces hundereds of tiny ferns at the leaf margins only to have them detach and float away to grow independently. Java fern, Microsorium pteropus, can develop into large colonies by reproducing itself in the way you describe off of the older leaves. In this case, the young plantlets attach their roots to stones or bark close to the mother plant. You can also prune them at the leaf margin (keeping the plantlet's root structure intact) and attach them yourself. I tend to wait until the root structure is well developed and the baby plant is an inch in size before pruning.
Well done dad.
 

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My Java Ferns seem to start the little plantlets mostly when they are stressed by algae, or other not-so-good conditions. For example, I just had my plants in a 5 gallon bucket with a little water for 3 weeks, while I was tearing down one tank and building up the replacement tank. When I took them out of the bucket I had several leaves with loads of plantlets growing on them. But I don't see many when those plants are growing well in my aquarium. This is apparently a survival technique that Java Ferns use.
 

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That is entirely possible, as my java ferns are currently completely overgrown by L. repens.. light is a little scarce in my tank... I really need to clean up in there ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My Java Ferns seem to start the little plantlets mostly when they are stressed by algae, or other not-so-good conditions. For example, I just had my plants in a 5 gallon bucket with a little water for 3 weeks, while I was tearing down one tank and building up the replacement tank. When I took them out of the bucket I had several leaves with loads of plantlets growing on them. But I don't see many when those plants are growing well in my aquarium. This is apparently a survival technique that Java Ferns use.

So the conditions in my tank are bad?

And also the tips of ALL the new leaves are melting?
 

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the clearish looking tips on the leaves is new growth

Yes, I got fooled by that as well in the beginning.
The "melting" part of the leaves will slowly get smaller and smaller, it's a sign of good growth...
 

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Hoppy is right - Java Fern makes babies on the leaves when stressed. It usually happens when the plant is moved to a new tank. Once established it doesn't do it very much.

This plant was well established in my tank. The picture has photoshop only on the background to make it look darker. Height is about 10" and you see very few new plantlets from the leaves:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/images/Polypodiaceae/JavaFern1.jpg

--Nikolay
 

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Interesting. Now I have a Trident JF that's growing vigorously and is extremely thick, but it sends off quite a few plantlets. At least 3-4 per week. IME, it seems like Java Ferns tend to put off more plantlets under higher light. In my low light tank, very few plantlets are formed.
 

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Interesting. Now I have a Trident JF that's growing vigorously and is extremely thick, but it sends off quite a few plantlets. At least 3-4 per week. IME, it seems like Java Ferns tend to put off more plantlets under higher light. In my low light tank, very few plantlets are formed.
x2^
 

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My own observation says that all of you are right. The java fern when stressed will grow plantlets from its leaves. A vigorously growing java fern will have plantlets growing from its older leaf which has been crowded out by new growth. Good light and nutrient regime will cause java fern to grow faster causing older leaves being crowded out and ensuring plantlets growing out of them and these leaves will turn black, loose its pinna, end up with its veins acting like stems unless you remove the plantlets.

On replanting these new plantlets have a longish dormant period before they start to grow on their own but they do that ultimately and will attain normal growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you so much for your help guys.

I've had the fern for months now and it's the first explosion of growth I've seen from it, I think it's because I moved it to a different tank.

I was worried about the leaf tips hehe but I have noticed that in fact it does green up as the leaf grows.
 
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