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Dicksonia Antarctica (Tree Fern)

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Dicksonia antarctica (tree fern)

Dicksonia Antarctica (Tree Fern)


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Position: partial to full shade
Soil: humus-rich, neutral to acid soil
Rate of growth: slow-growing
Hardiness: half hardy
A fantastic, tree-like fern with a thick mass of roots that form a trunk and large, up to 3m (10ft) long, filigree-like fronds. These impressive tree ferns are one of the oldest plants in the world and add a touch drama to any garden. They are native to Australia and Tasmania, and since they are slow growing, can take 10 years to grow only 30cm of trunk. Try them in a semi-shaded spot, among ferns and woodland plants, as part of an exotic scheme, or beside water. They are hardy to -10 degrees C, although the foliage may die back at -2 degrees C. They will happily grow in any soil as long as the trunk is kept moist.Plants may be dispatched without leaf fronds. These will soon grow back.Garden care: As these plants absorb their nutrients through the trunk, water and feed by spraying the whole stem and crown. Protect the crown in winter by removing the fronds after the first frost, rolling them up into balls and gently pushing them into the crown where the new fronds will emerge. Alternatively, place straw in the top of the trunk. Remove the protection again in spring as the new growth begins.

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