Australian tree fern - Knowledgebase Question

Hesperia, Ca
Question by wepinn92345
August 6, 2010
I have an australian tree fern and the fronds are turning brown and drying up. What is wrong? What kind of fertilizer can i give it. I have it under a covered patio. Could it be getting too much sun


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Answer from NGA
August 6, 2010

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Cyathea cooperi is the Australian tree fern. It grows best in partial afternoon shade and requires rich, moist soil. It's normal for the oldest fronds to die off. As long as it is putting out healthy new growth, it is probably okay. However, if the new 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. Since your tree fern is in a container, I'd feed it with a half strength dilution of a liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Gro or Peter's. As long as the root system is healthy, new fronds will be produced next spring. Good luck with your plant!

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