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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


Plant Profile Series

 

ARTILLERY FERN - Pilea

Although called an Artillery Fern, this interesting plant is not from the fern family at all.  It is a member of the Pilea family.  It has light green stems with tiny 1/8" round leaves and does look somewhat fernlike. It gets the name Artillery Fern from the way it ejects it's seeds from the brownish colored seed pods with a pop.  An experiment; When the seed pods appear on the stems place the Artillery Fern on a three foot square sheet of white paper and see how far can this plant "fire" it's seeds!

WATER: Artillery plants like a thorough watering after the soil becomes slightly dry. Use tepid water. Regular misting is beneficial provided you have good air circulation. Reduce water during the winter months. Never allow the plant to stand in water.

TEMPERATURE: These plants must be protected from cold drafts, with a minimum temperature of 50 degrees.

LIGHT: They enjoy a medium to bright filtered light. Avoid direct sunlight as this will cause leaves to brown and drop off.

This plant is often available in 3" pots, sometimes also in 4" or 6" terracotta pots.