Tree ferns were a firm plant hunter's favourite from Victorian times, a symbol of wealth and travel experiences to Australia. They have maintained this sense of mystique ever since. Now you too can grow these surprisingly easy exotic-looking plants too.
Harvested under strict license from woodland clearance in Australia and Tasmania, and in very short supply this season, these astonishing plants really will delight and amaze. They grow under the woodland canopy, in the shade, so grow them here in a sheltered spot too. When you water them via the top crown, they will burst back into life, like it's the new rainy season!
Because they grow in leaf canopies, most of their food comes from leaves falling into their giant shuttlecock like fronds, funnelling the goodness into the growing crown. Feed and water this crown - rainwater is best if you can collect it.
Even at this size of log, new fronds will unfurl spectacularly within a month or so of you watering it. The plant is hardy down to -5 in winter, although the fronds will die back. Cutting these off when they die back is what creates the new trunk, which slowly inches up over many, many years.
Keep the crown protected in winter with a layer of straw to keep cold and wet out. When you get it home, plant it in a big pot, or in the garden soil. It takes almost 2 years to root in, so do not be alarmed by this slow growing beauty.
Supplied as a 20cm (7in) log ready for immediate potting up.
Supplied as a 'potter log', about 20-25cm tall, cut back, from which new fronds will quickly emerge. During the season, these may be supplied with fronds already elongated. Protect new fronds from frost in spring.
Your tree fern will thrive in a sheltered, humid and shaded position, with plenty of room to spread
For best results, plant in humus-rich, neutral to slightly acid soil.
Planting Advice for Dicksonia antarctica
Aftercare Advice for your Tree Fern