The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Tasmanian Tree Fern

Question: I have a potted tasmanian tree and I would be grateful for advice on how to properly care for it during the winter months. The gardening books I have don't even mention this tree!

Kind Regards

Answer: Your Tasmanian tree is Dicksonia antartica. It's sometimes called a tree fern. The plant starts out looking like a clump of fern fronds. As it produces more foliage, the older leaves die off, leaving a trunklike structure in the center of the plant. As the plant grows older, the trunk elongates, giving the appearance of a lovely fern perched atop a palm tree base. These trees are native to Australia and New Zealand and will not tolerate cold winter weather. If you have a brightly lit indoor location, you can take yours indoors in the fall and keep it there until spring. Although these plants can reach a mature size of 45', I doubt yours will get that big, especially when kept in a container. They are challenging to grow well, but they're interesting enough to give it a try. Provide filtered bright light, 65 ?F during the day, high humidity, and keep the soil constantly moist.

Best wishes with your tree fern!

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