Characteristics of the fern
- Type: ornamental plant
- Height: from 60 to 80 cm, from 80 cm to 1 m, from 1 to 2 m
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: well drained, humus
- Interview: easy to maintain
- sanitizer: Yes
- variety: Adiantum, Davallia, Phyllitis, Athyrium, Polypodium…
Origins and peculiarities of the tree fern
The tree fern (Dicksonia antartica) is a variety of fern whose success has not been denied for many years, whether in gardens, in pots on terraces and balconies, but also indoors!
It is distinguished from other ferns by its green and elegant leaves (called fronds) with a silky appearance, but also because it is one of the rare species of tree ferns to resist the cold of winter when it is planted. in a garden !
Native to Tasmania, the fern is a plant that has hardly changed since the Jurassic era, but which has unfortunately been the victim of its success; indeed, its plants were literally decimated from its natural habitat to be marketed and sold in garden centers. This is why it is now classified as a "protected species" in Tasmania and New Zealand.
The period of fern planting is around spring or autumn. Soil preparation is essential to allow this plant to develop. The fern appreciates moist, acidic soils, enriched with humus and well drained. An organic fertilizer is sometimes recommended if the soil is not humic enough.
To flourish, it needs to be placed in a corner sheltered from the winds and semi-shaded: indeed, direct sunlight can harm its foliage which would turn yellow in places.
In spring and summer, the fern will appreciate being rid of its dead leaves. This type of plant also requires regular watering to maintain the humidity of the soil, which is a key parameter of its development. During the summer season and in hot weather, care should be taken to regularly water the ferns used as ornamental plants, but also to keep the heart of their foliage constantly moist. However, the water should not stagnate (either at the bottom of the planting pot or in the ground), otherwise the plants will rot quickly.
On the other hand, the fern fears frost. In winter, it is therefore necessary to think of protecting it from the cold by covering it with a mulch of wilted leaves. If you live in a region where the cold season is particularly harsh, it is better to plant your ferns in ornamental plant mode in containers that you can bring inside when the cold is too bitter.
The indoor ferns, meanwhile, need to be sprayed once or twice a week to maintain good humidity.
The fern can suffer from chlorosis, which is characterized by the presence of yellow spots on its foliage. This disease is due to too calcareous soil. Indeed, this type of soil prevents the absorption of iron by the plant, while it is a trace element essential for its growth. To combat this infection, anti-chlorosis treatment should be considered.
The tree fern can also be attacked by scale insects. But don't panic: these insects can be repelled in an ecological way, with black soap.