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Dicksonia Antarctica - will it have to be pruned?

I have a Dicksonia Antarctica currently residing in a 12" pot sat on my outside toilet where I have overwintered it the past two years. Last year when i put it outside in spring I cut back all the fronds. Just as I do all my smaller ferns. However,  I was wondering whether, if left, they will survive? It looks fantastic at the moment but will all the current fronds die off next year if left? 


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,008
    The current fronds will eventually turn brown and disintegrate as new ones emerge .
    My own plant (4') trunk is still in full 'frond' ; I've normally removed them by now , cutting as close to the trunk as possible . The mild Winter here has helped this year .
    It is planted in a permanent position in the garden , 50% sheltered by an old Black-Pine .
    It has survived temperatures down to -14C , including the infamous 'Beast from the East'.
    Fully acclimatised over more than 20-years , it is never wrapped in fleece or anything else .
    Depending on where you reside , yours would do better planted out in a sheltered position , kept moist throughout the growing season , fed regularly and nurtured with TLC .
  • Thank you for your reply. As it's still quite small I've got it in a 12" plastic pot which is then planted in a much larger terracotta pot when it's outdoors. I wanted the height, lifting it above other plants, hence the big terracotta pot, but figured it would be good to move it inside over winter hence keeping it in the smaller plastic pot. So are you saying that the fronds only ever last one season? If so I guess I may as well chop them off soon. 
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,008
    Hello Robert !
    In a 'normal' year , the fronds on mine usually survive for one season only .
    It has been so mild here (E.Lincs) , they are still fairly lush . I am loathe to remove them yet as the whole plant still looks pretty good .
    If you're happy with the appearance of your fern , then leave them on to decay naturally.
  • Hi, do I understand correct, that the fronds of a Dicksonia do not need to be cut off? They'll die off naturally, turn brown? Mine is in a pot. Do I have to shelter it during the winter and/or cover it in fleece or plastic sheeting? Depending on temperature? I live in the Netherlands.
  • Have a look at the following link from The Middlesize Garden
    "Everything you need to knowabout growing tree ferns"
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