Complete guide to tree fern care
Low maintenance and high impact, a tree fern is great for shady spots
Tree ferns are a popular choice for gardeners looking to create a tropical feel in their outdoor spaces. They are slow-growing and can live for many years with proper care. Here is a complete guide to caring for tree ferns:
- Choose a shady spot that gets some gentle sun
- Water when the top two inches of soil feel dry
- Shelter your tree fern from strong winds
About tree ferns
Tam, our tree fern, is also known as a dicksonia antarctica. Despite the chilly botanical name, tree ferns are native to Australia and New Zealand. They've been around a while; in fact, the fossil history of Tam dates back 250 million years, which is 50 million years before the beginning of the Jurassic Period. Pretty cool.
What's the best location for my tree fern?
Tree ferns prefer shade and gentle sun, so it’s best to place them in a spot that gets partial shade throughout the day. Bright, intense sun will scorch their leaves.
What's the best soil for my tree fern?
Tree ferns need a well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You can keep your tree fern in its pot, or plant it in the ground.
How often should I water my tree fern?
Water your tree ferns regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. They won't enjoy being left to dry out, so water more frequently in summer or when its warm.
Should I fertilise my tree fern?
Fertilise your tree ferns every two weeks in spring and summer with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser. This will encourage healthy growth.
Do I need to prune my tree fern?
Prune your tree ferns to keep them healthy and encourage new growth. Snip off any dead or dying branches to keep them neat and tidy.
Common tree fern pests
Look out for pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scale. Treat any infestations as soon as possible.
Should I be mulching my tree fern?
Add a layer of mulch around the base of your tree ferns to help retain moisture in the soil.
Tree ferns are a beautiful addition to any outdoor space, and with proper care, they can last for many years. Follow these tips to keep your tree ferns healthy and happy!
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