|You can see that this is effectively two plants|
So, I eased the plant out of the pot (well, actually "wrestled" would be more accurate), at which point it looked like this:
|The rootball was very densely matted|
I then divided it carefully down the middle with an old kitchen knife that I use as a gardening implement. I tried using a spade, but this didn't work -- the fern's rootball was too springy, and the spade just bounced off! After the division, I trimmed off about half of the roots of each piece.
|The plant now divided into two|
After this it was just a matter of re-potting the two bits. I put the smaller one back into the original pot, and found a larger terracotta one for the bigger plant, so that it has some room to expand. I trimmed off most of the fronds to reduce the opportunities for slugs and suchlike to overwinter amongst any decaying vegetation.
|The plants re-potted|
I'm going to keep both plants under the cover of one of my mini greenhouses over the Winter, to give them some extra help with recovering from their "Op".
By the way, are there any fern experts out there who can conclusively identify this type of fern for me?