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How do I look after THIS?


Hi there. New to this forum looking for advise on my latest purchase from a garden centre. It's a tree fern with a well established Acacia Mimosa self seeded onto the root/bark of the fern.  It's been a little neglected in the corner of a netted tunnel but seems to be quite healthy. We live in Cornwall so no serious frost or snow. My plan is a large pot which will be protected from our cruel winds and will get sun all morning. Am I doing the right thing??



  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,080

    Hello maggiepetts

    That is just another fern attatched to the trunk of your tree-fern ; quite commonly seen not an Acacia .

    The tree-fern looks in desperate need of re-potting , and try to flood it daily with (preferably) rainwater .

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,080

    PS :- Tree-ferns , like all ferns ,do well in dappled shade . A good idea to protect from your notorious winds . That must have been expensive to buy , but when you consider the average growing rate of about one-inch in height per year , you've bought quite a bit of time there .

    Mine stays outside under the partial cover of a Black Pine throughout the year ; my wife drenches it every day and it flourishes . 6' across from frond tip to frond tip . Our biggest enemy here are cold drying easterlies from Europe in the winter , although I do remove the fronds when they start to turn brown .

    Sorry to bore you , I've gone on enough , but hope to have helped image

  • Thanks Paul, Very helpful, will definitely start drenching! I think you think I'm talking about the ferns around the bottom of the tree fern in the 'full height' phot.  It's actually the bushy, leafy growth at the top and, from this angle,  mostly behind the main trunk of the fern. Not easy to clearly photograph!  I too questioned if it was a Mimosa, I thought it looked much more like an Olive. But I was assured it is definitely a Mimosa but not the type with the 'froned' leaves. I'll try and identify which type it is!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Can you take a photo of the second picture a little further out? Just so the leaves and tops of the 'Acacia' is visible? Never seen this before. Did you see this grow from very small? Looks like an Olive type leaf or even Phillyrea Angustifolia.

  • How's this?  I agree the leaves look like an olive to me. No, we only bought this fully grown plant this week from a local garden centre.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Thanks, it does look more like an Olive. But it is difficult to tell. Hopefully more posters can offer an opinion. Did you buy the plant with this shrub already attached?

  • Yes. I thought it had been grafted, but was told it self seeded. To be honest I wouldn't know the difference! The 'invadet' is very well established and thriving. Hopefully not at the cost of the large host. We will be monitoring the fern closely! 

  • Any thoughts on trying to remove the mould on the tree fern, or shall I just leave it?

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,080

    The tree-fern 'trunk ' is actually a densely packed solid root-system ; I hope the 'invader' has not somehow  rooted into the 'trunk' . This would be incredibly debilitating to the fern , and will probably lead to its ultimate demise .

    I would try my best to extract it somehow , piece by piece, from the fern .image

    What kind of GC employees would leave it to attain such a size in the first place ?

  • Interesting, Paul. I wouldn't know just how long it's taken for the 'invader' to get this big. If it's at least a couple if years, as I suspect, hopefully that would show the fern can take the extra baggage.  Although, I quite agree it mustn't be left to get too big. The weight alone would not be good for the fern.

    Anything I can fed the fern with?

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