Dicksonia Antarctica Tree Ferns
It is a fern that is very unique and can give a tropical feel to those of you who grow it. Many love this tree fern to change their home landscape to feel like they are in the tropics.
The Dicksonia Antarctica fern is a tree from eastern Australia. This plant generally grows in the coastal areas of Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania as well as parts of southeastern gueenland. Among all the tree ferns encountered, the Dicksonia Antarctica species are the ones that are very easy to grow and maintain.
Apart from being called by the name Dicksonia Antarctica, this fern is also referred to by other names such as human fern, hairy tree fern, soft tree fern and tasmania tree fern, referring to one of the places of origin of this plant.
As a plant that is easy to grow, and only requires low maintenance. So, it becomes one of the attractions to add it to your home landscape. That is also the reason why many people like to include this plant as a tree to decorate the house, especially in presenting a home garden with a tropical feel.
Well, if you are also interested in growing Dicksonia Antarctica ferns or tasmania ferns, read on because we will present a lot of information regarding Dicksonia Antarctica ferns. This includes how to plant it and how to care for it.
Description of the Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern
This fern or tree fern, called the soft, or hairy fern, is a true type of fern. This is really a tree fern that grows without flowers or seeds. They are among the plants that reproduce by spores that grow on the underside of the leaves.
The trunk is erect, thick, and covered with fibers like wool. While the leaves are at the top of the stem. While the roots are thick and fibrous, the leaves are green and always like that because they don’t age over time. This fern is a type of large fern whose trunk can rise like a coconut or palm tree. There are some of its old leaves turning brown and it hangs over the tree like a palm tree.
Dicksonia Antarctica fern trees, in their natural habitat are found in tropical rainforest areas, along humid coastlines, and some even grow in cloud forests. The hairy fern or Tasmania tree can grow to a height of up to 20 feet and some have even been found to be over 20 feet tall. This plant is a plant exist because its growth is very slow so that its age is also classified as very long, very suitable as decoration in gardens for tropical landscapes. However, the growth during cultivation does not appear to be the same as growing naturally in the forest, if in cultivation this plant usually only grows 15 feet.
The Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern also has rhizomes along the base. The rhizome can also be used for planting new trees. In fact, many people use this rhizome as a way for propagation.
In Australia as its home area, the Dicksonia Antarctica fern tree is rare to find in nature, as many plant sellers have taken it from nature to sell or collect. Therefore, if you want to plant this large fern tree as a garden ornament, then make sure you get it from a responsible seller.
Where to Plant Soft Tree Ferns (Dicksonia Antarctica)
This hairy fern plant thrives in its original place in full shade and in partial sun. Even though it grows a lot in shade, this tree fern can also grow well in full sun. But what is important is that there is enough water for growth.
This tree is not good for planting in a place with strong winds because it can damage the leaves. Therefore, planting tree ferns outdoors should be in a place that is protected from strong winds. Climatic conditions can differ between fern plants, some of them absolutely need a place that is free from frost and some still tolerate mild frosts.
There are also species of tree ferns that can withstand temperatures of minus 5 degrees C. However, continuous exposure to cold temperatures can damage the development of the leaves.
So those who plant tree ferns where the temperature drops sharply, they must provide frost protection. They need to be able to protect the trees from the cold winters. This plant needs high humidity but dew sometimes becomes a problem for its life.
Tree ferns or Dicksonia Antarctica can also be planted in pots. If you choose this planting method, then make sure that your pot has good drainage holes so that the water runs smoothly without leaving the roots submerged for a long time in water.
Soil for Growing Tree Ferns (Dicksonia Antarctica)
This soft tree fern plant can grow in almost any type of soil. Because the important thing for him is to have good drained soil. However, the growth will be even better if it is supported by fertile soil.
In addition, why did we mention easy maintenance at the beginning of the article, because growing soft tree ferns also does not require a special soil pH like other plants.
How to Plant the Tree Fern
- There are a few things that you should pay attention to before you start planting Dicksonia Antarctica. Here we mention one by one for your knowledge.
- When digging a hole for tree fern planting, you should dig up the soil that is twice the size of the root ball. This applies to planting in pots or in the ground.
- Mix between 5 and 10 gallons of compost into the soil, stirring together. If your soil doesn’t have good drainage, then add perlite to improve water flow.
- Then, insert the root ball into the hole that has been made, place it until all parts of the plant roots are covered with soil.
- Then, fill the hole with soil that has been mixed with compost, enter the soil so that all parts of the tree fern roots are covered with the mixed compost soil. And flush with water evenly.
Instructions for Watering and Feeding Tree Ferns
The tree fern (Dicksonia Antarctica) grows in tropical areas with good and sufficient humidity. So naming it in the yard must get good watering so that moisture is maintained. The best planting for this plant is in areas with up to 4 inches of rainfall per year.
If you plant it in an area with less than 4 inches of rainfall per year, then the area adjacent to a watering ditch is the most suitable place for growth.
Dicksonia Antarctica is a tree that must be kept moist, especially if you plant it in the yard to decorate the garden. You have to water it every day to keep it moist. If the roots are dry for a long time, it can cause death to the fern tree.
However, it does not mean that the roots can be submerged in water continuously. If submerged in water such as due to floods and so on, the roots can rot and cause death. To ensure that you can water it, then stick your finger into the soil at the root, plug your finger in about 1 inch and feel the soil, if the soil is still moist, you don’t need to water it. But if the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water it.
Fertilizing or feeding soft fern trees is mid-spring to mid-summer (growing season). You can use liquid fertilizers or free-release fertilizers. If using a liquid fertilizer, thaw it well and read the instructions on the packaging carefully.
How to Care for Tasmanian Ferns
As we mentioned earlier, that soft tree fern or Dicksonia Antarctica does not require complicated care. The leaves of the plant do not need pruning, as they fall off the stems and are great for protecting the fern stalks from cold temperatures, wind, or dehydration.
Indeed, you can remove the leaves, but this must be done carefully. Don’t cut the petiole too close to the stem, and you should at least cut about 6 inches from the stem, and place the leaves on the stem or roots as organic mulch.
Protection of Dicksonia Antarctica From Cold Weather
Some hairy tree paki can tolerate frost and cold weather, but some do not tolerate cold weather. Even some tree ferns cannot be exposed to cold temperatures for proper growth.
The taller the tree or the older it is, the stronger its strength to withstand the cold weather and the more it can withstand extreme nature.
If planting a tree fern in a container, then in cold weather it should be transported indoors. If you are planting it in the ground, then when the frost comes, use or evenly place the straw on the stem and fold the leaves over the tree to minimize chills on the stem.
Also see: How To Grow Blue Hibiscus In Gardens
How to Propagate Tree Ferns?
The propagation of tree ferns is not through the spores that grow on the underside of the leaves, but by utilizing the weevil of shoots or rhizomes that grow at the roots. If we rely on spores, we have to wait until the age of the plants to 20 years, this is certainly not an easy way.
The weevil or rhizome is separated from the stem, then planted directly in the pot and keep it moist so that it grows quickly.