The Q&A Archives: Australian Tree Fern

Question: Moved into a new home and we have this very large 8ft Australian Tree fern. I have noticed recently the fonds going brown on some of the branches in particulary the ends. I seem to be watering it often but did not realize you have to water the fibress trunk. It has been hot recently and I am wondering if the leaves got burnt.It sits in partial shade and has been at this house for a many years. How can I resolve this and what is the correct watering for this tree?

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. Usually one deep soaking per week during the growing season is adequate, but if the weather is hot or your soil is sandy and drains quickly, you may need to water more frequently. 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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