The Q&A Archives: Tips Of Fronds Turning Brown On Australian Tree Fern

Question: I bought a well established australian tree fern in a 5 gal container from a local nursery. It's been in the ground for approximately 2 months now. For the last 3 or so weeks, I've noticed the leaves are turning brown and dying starting at the tips of the fronds going down toward the trunk. I also bought a tazmanian tree fern at the same time, but haven't planted it in the ground yet, and it's doing great. Any suggestions on how I can prevent this or what I might have done to cause it?

Thanks, Nancy

Answer: Cyathea cooperi is the Australian tree fern. It grows best in partial afternoon shade and requires rich, moist soil. If the fronds are shriveling up, it could be from lack of water, exposure to too much sun, or an over-application of fertilizer. Try giving your plant some protection from the hot afternoon sunshine and keeping the soil consistently moist, but not soggy wet. When you do feed (spring is best) be sure to apply amounts as recommended on the fertilizer label. As long as the root system is healthy, new fronds will be produced next spring. Good luck with your plant!

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