Posted on 2023-01-292023-01-2801/28/2023 purple cliffbrake fern spores Mom gave me some native Great Plains fern spores recently and on Saturday, Paula and I sort of followed these online directions to start our attempt at germination. The containers have all been run through the dishwasher at some point. Then I stirred up potting soil (“seed starting mix” chosen because someone gave me a bag of it and I wanted to use it up) with water to create the sloppy mud the above webpage describes. Microwaving the sloppy soil to sterilize it, sort of. We did reach temperatures higher than the instructions suggested for sterilization,but didn’t microwave for a long time. So I’m going to say “we’ll see” and move on. While the soil cooled (Paula set it outside to help it along), I started trying to coax spores from the undersides of the fern leaves using the dissecting scope at 1x and very fine forceps. Turns out there’s a lot of stuff in the big brown spots. I didn’t do the 10% bleach wash suggested in the directions. I suspect these round spots (circled in red) are the spores and the other little bits are debris from the brown sporangia. I had to go but Paula kindly finished the process by dusting all the spore containing dust onto the very wet soil surface and sealing it up. It’s now sitting in the guest room with the baby peppers and patient basil. The light there is on and off 12 hrs a day.