Forum home Plants


Hello this is the second year for a dicksonian fern which was kept fleeced up over winter, then pruned the fronds in April when it was unwrapped.  I can see the beginnings of tight furred fronds but when should I see them begin to unfurl?  Once a week its fed with fern feed and its kept really damp in a shaded spot.


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068
    Your Dicksonia should be well into growth by now (depending on your location of course);  It is vital that you keep the 'trunk' moist as much as possible . This is actually a dense core of root material in itself , so any moisture helps .
    Mine commenced growth approximately four-weeks ago , and already the fronds are 3' long .
    (Mind you , the 4" of rain in the last 48-hours will have been superbly beneficial).
  • Hi Paul I have been keeping well watered in a sheltered part of the garden in a pot and have fed weakly. We are in south Oxfordshire do you think it would help to move the pot into a sunnier spot for a while 🤔
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068
    I used to keep mine (5' trunk) in a large pot until it became hopelessly pot-bound .
    Transferred to a sheltered position in open ground about four-years ago , and has never looked so good . It simply wasn't getting enough water in a pot ; the roots had become totally impenetrable . I ripped most of them off with two strong garden forks with no detriment to the plant at all ; in fact this procedure promoted a more rapid growth .
    I never fleece or protect it in any way (in E.Lincs by the way) ; receives full-sunshine for most of the day , but partial shade during the afternoons .
    I've had it for around twenty-years , and I think it has adapted well to my growing conditions .
    Withstanding with disdain the icy blast of 2009/10 , and shrugging off the 'Beasts' last year with no damage whatsoever , I firmly believe in its tenacity and hardiness now .
    PS  Rainwater is preferential to tap-water .
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068
    PPS   Regarding feeding , I just scatter a coating of slow-release fertiliser around it in the Spring .
    Good luck with yours !
  • Hi Paul do you think I should transfer now into the ground? It's around 5" x 3" a little baby in comparison to your beauty. 
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068
    I didn't realise yours was so young , so I'd leave it in the pot for now .
    The average growth rate in height for Dicksonia antarctica is around 1" per year in height , so mine is about 60-years old now !
    When purchasing these huge specimens in garden centres , we are all buying time in the true sense of the word ; those 9' - 10' specimens are well over a century old .
    You obviously have a great appreciation of these creatures  ; do you think , or is it feasible for you to invest in a larger plant??
    It's a crying shame they take so long to develop into their mature (truncated) form .
  • Hi Paul I absolutely do think they are fabulous and before investing in a bigger one thought it best to practice first 
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068
    Pleased to hear that SL !
    When I look at mine in the garden displaying luxuriant fronds , I can't help but think of its connection to an epoch long since vanished ; that era of giant club-mosses and horsetails all existing in a primordial world destined to become the fossil fuel we are now consuming, the Carboniferous Period circa.300m years ago .
    How these plants have survived is marvellous in itself !
    I've seen picture of Tree-Ferns which have attained heights of up to 15 metres in their native habitats .
    Think of the age of those ........astounding !
    Get as large as your budget allows SL , and treasure it ; these plants deserve it !! :)
  • Absolutely agree will. Will be investigating further at Hampton  Court next month.  🌴
Sign In or Register to comment.