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Plant Pals Club - The Fern Family I

The Fern Family I

Author Ricardo Buzo / Category Plant Pals Clubs R&D / Published: July-10-2021

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt"

-Margaret Atwood


In this fieldwork research, we explored the watering, light and care needs of the Cretan Brake Fern (Pteris cretica). 

This link will provide you with the infographic that shows the beautiful graphs we created outlining our results!



Participants were 55 plant pals club students ranging from K-6th grade who were given 1 2" potted plants: Cretan Brake Fern to care for. 27 (n=27) of them responded to a data collection survey. The data collected and presented was all child-led.


As we expected the Cretan Brake Fern was not an easy plant to take care of however it was also not that difficult. With an average rating of 7 out of a scale of 10 in care level, this fern was reported to have more maintenance requirements than previous plants. With that said it was surprising to see that most if not all the ferns survived due to the fact that ferns survival rate is pretty low when adults take care of them. With such success in keeping the fern alive, the majority of our students would recommend this plant as a gift. In regards to watering and light, students found that they had to water their plants at least twice a week. The trick according to them is to keep a reservoir of water underneath the plant in order to establish a reliable water supply to the fern. Additionally, students on averaged reported 3-5 hrs of sunlight was given to their fern. Some students had to move away their fern it got too sunny in order to avoid leaf burn. And that the average number of leaves grown for the was about 5 leaves


In conclusion, this data suggest that the Cretan Brake Fern, and the Fern Family in general, like to be heavily watered and given partial light. Having a reservoir of water will greatly help with keeping your fern alive. It's worth noting that if you forget to water your plant for the week it may wilt and or shrivel up. This will also occur if it's given too much sunlight exposure. Overall, the Cretan Brake Fern will definitely reward you with new growth if you keep the water consistent.


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