The Dicksonia antarctica also known by other names such as the Tasmanian Tree Fern, Soft Tree Fern or just Tree Fern is by far the hardiest tree fern, making it ideal for growing outdoors in the UK.
These hardy tree ferns are best placed in a sheltered spot, sheltered from strong winds and importantly sheltered from harsh sunlight. An ideal spot for a tree fern is somewhere that offers dappled light, so in and amongst other taller trees.
The tree fern is a very very slow growing plant, but correct watering and feeding will go along way to encourage the growth rate, and produce a handsome set of fronds.
The key to feeding and watering a tree fern is that the vast percentage of the nutrient and moisture uptake for the fern is through its crown. Throughout the growing season (April - September) water on a regular basis through the crown and importantly apply a liquid feed via the crown every 2-3 weeks. Feeding tree ferns is really important not only will this feed encourage healthy strong fronds for the current seaons, but it will also nourish next seasons fronds too.
For protection in winter, tree ferns are generally hardy up to around -8oc, up to the this temperature really no protection will be necessary, in most cases the fronds will lose condition and die, but they will happily regrow the following spring. For colder temperatures place a bundle of horticultural fleece in the crown of the tree fern, this will offer insulation from frosts and snow throughout winter. Some will go to far more involved processes of protection including chicken wire framework and straw, but only in the very coldest areas will this be necessary.
In most cases due to the brittle nature of the Dicksonia antarctica fronds, the fronds will be removed prior to dispatch on larger sizes.
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