NEWLY BOUGHT TREE FERN

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by ARMANDII, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Hortus Stultus

    Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello - I’m a new poster to this forum (after dropping in to read numerous threads from time to time), and by a quick search I found this thread, which is similar to my issue.

    Hopefully adding a similar question to an existing topic is ok?

    My problem is as follows:

    My partner ordered a 4ft tree fern online as a birthday present for me in June. My birthday wasn’t until August but she knew that it wouldn’t be ideal getting a fern delivered late in the year so she ordered nice and early and was advised that delivery would be by the end of the month. Anyway, without going into loads of detail, this fern finally turned up on 2nd September. It looked great to be fair, turned out to be nearly 5ft tall, nice and thick with loads of fronds tightly packed in the crown.

    The only problem was the timing, but I assumed that as long as I planted the tree and watered it a lot, it would stay dormant until next spring (I don’t know why I assumed that, but my smaller tree fern never puts out any fronds after late July).

    That hasn’t happened and after returning from holiday on Sunday, I found that no less than 25 large fronds are bursting out of the crown! If this was even 1 month ago I’d be delighted but I can’t see how there will be enough warm days left for these fronds to unfurl and toughen up before they get ruined by bad/cold weather.

    I have no idea what to do, or how to try and protect them over the winter without risking them getting squashed or seriously damaged.

    Any advice would be very gratefully recurved.

    thanks
     
  2. Hortus Stultus

    Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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    Just to show what I mean, this is it on planting a couple of weeks ago
     

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  3. Hortus Stultus

    Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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    And this is it now.
     

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    • ThePlantAssassin

      ThePlantAssassin Gardener

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      I'm afraid I cant help you but I hope you dont mind me asking you a question. Where did that tree fern come from? I've always wanted one but have had no luck with online ordering anything. It looks so absolutely amazing. Deadly sin or not I think Im turning green with envy. Im sure somebody on here will be able to help you. Welcome to the forum and Im sure you will enjoy your stay.
       
    • Cuttings

      Cuttings Super Gardener

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      • flounder

        flounder Super Gardener

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        It's fine. Carry on with the watering during warm and windy weather, but ease off as the temps start to drop. If your fronds become crispy, just bend them over to cover the crown. Keep an eye on the long range forecast for when to properly winterise it
         
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        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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          Hi, well, as you can see from the start of this thread I bought my Tree Fern in 2018 which had a 3' long trunk
          upload_2020-9-21_21-11-17.png
          and is now fully fronded and well rooted.
          Your Fern will be doing two things now, (a) putting out it's fronds and (b) growing roots and establishing itself. Just let it do it's own thing for the time being.
          It needs watering of course, but one of the best ways is to water the top where the Fronds begin and also the Trunk as it keep it moist while also keeping the container compost moist..
          I think you live in Sheffield which is to the North and East of Cheshire where I live but I'm not sure of whether or not you still get frosts there? Can you give an idea of what your garden and micro-climate is like so that we can say whether or not you need to protect it from frost. I've probably only had two short spells of frost in the two years of having the Fern but didn't cover it and it survived without any problems. I would think in the event of a heavy prolonged frost it might be wise to give it some protection but otherwise it should be okay. I've found that the older fronds turn a dark colour and need cutting back as the new ones grow but I think you could, again, let it do it's own thing.:dunno::cat-kittyandsmiley::coffee:
           
        • Hortus Stultus

          Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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          Thanks for the response. My partner actually got the fern from Primrose online nursery. It was quite pricey at £185 though!!

          I can’t speak for their normal service but through the covid period their feedback and customer service is seemingly absolutely woeful. Just check out the Facebook page!! I also got the impression they were taking way more orders than they could hope to deal with at the time.

          To give them their dues after waiting ages, I eventually found a contact there via FB messenger who was very helpful and chased the order up with the nursery. They then delivered it - albeit 8 weeks late and leaving it stood on its head outside my front door!
          I feared the worst really but I have to say I’m staggered at the number of healthy fronds and how big they are compared to my other Dicksonia, which has been in my garden for 2.5yrs now and only this year has really settled in.

          I am indeed in Sheffield, and at about 800ft high as well, so it can get very cold at times, but the smaller DA survived the Beast from the East (with temps down to about -5C to -8C) even though my dog kept on pulling off any protection I wrapped around it.

          Both the DA’s are planted on an embankment which is at the top of a 4ft high retaining wall along the north side of the house. It’s shady but gets some sun first thing and late afternoon. I think the sheltered spot keeps it slightly warmer than it otherwise might be (it’s only about 3m from the house and sheltered from the wind on 3 sides).

          I will just keep up the daily soaking and weekly feed with tree fern solution, then hopefully the fronds will be hard enough to survive with an insulating wrap of some sort.

          Your fern looks great Armandii- I think I need to grow some other plants around mine for a bit of extra warmth maybe.
           
        • Hortus Stultus

          Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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          Thanks for the advice Flounder! I will do as suggested.

          I’m actually amazed how fast these fronds are unfolding! I would post another photo but for some reason it crashes Safari each time I try.
           
        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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          Well, don't overdo it with the soaking as you could cause rotting of the roots. The Tree Ferns natural habit is one where they are given a morning coating of reasonably warm foggy dew which trickles down the fronds and trunk to the soil, that's all they need. Also, the "Tree Fern Solution" will be a mostly Nitrogen feed which shouldn't be taken past Autumn as it will soften the plant to frosts. You can get fairly large breathable garden Fleeces that will cover the Tree Fern, but you might need two or three for a heavy frost.

          That site sounds ideal for the Ferns especially with having shelter around it, and they are happy in shade.

          It's in the West border with a 18' length of climbing Roses on it's right and behind it as you look at it, and a large Lilac to it's left with a 8' high fence behind those, so it's in a well protected, lightly shaded spot. But, again, we haven't had a real prolonged hard frosts in Cheshire for a long time and not any real snow since around '93:dunno: I think the Climate Change is making our Winters milder which is not a bad thing.

          I paid £90 for my 3' trunk two years ago and it's been worth every penny!

          That quick growth amazed and surprised me too.:doh:

          I think nearly all the Nurseries suffered with their ability to cope with the demand for plants during the COVID 19 lockdowns etc. I've bought a few plants from Primose, nothing special, and found them a bit slow and pricey.

          Cuttings is spot on about Burncoose Nursery, their plants quality is fantastic, as well as their service, and while pricey you get what you pay for. But they also had to stop taking online orders for a while due to the COVID 19 causing them staff shortages.
           
        • Cuttings

          Cuttings Super Gardener

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          Unfortunately this is a unexpected side effect of CV-19, and lots of online nurseries where caught out, we sell a lot of summer bedding plugs and perennial 9cm liners online, previous years during peak, we would send out 250 to 300 packages a day, this year 500 -600, and no staff, as everyone seemed to panic buy, so we had to just stop selling online to catch up, this problem also occurred on the tv shopping channels, and (god knows why people buy from them) Thompson and Morgan, and their parent nursey Van muen also had to stop for a while. The effects are still being felt now, minimal staff and high demand for Autumn crops, means starting at 4am and finishing at about 8pm (on tea break), and supplies like compost deliveries and sunderies still with delays, maintainance like hedge cutting etc, I'd better stop there, or I'll be fancying a beer later
          :recliner:
           
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          • Hortus Stultus

            Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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            I’d forgotten about this post I did - but have been trying to look after my tree fern as best I can. I thought I’d post a recent photo to show what’s happened to it.

            The fronds fully unfurled and are around 6ft long in total. I’ve put some straw in the crown and wrapped the “live” part of the trunk in fleece, and I still water it if we have a few dry days.

            hopefully it’ll grow some decent fronds in 2021, as it looks ace at the moment but I’m aware these fronds were probably grown before it was exported from Aus. Hopefully the South Yorkshire climate won’t be too harsh for it!
             

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            • ThePlantAssassin

              ThePlantAssassin Gardener

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              @Hortus Stultus
              That is amazing...I so so so so want one. Its beautiful, Im really envious. :love30:
               
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              • Hortus Stultus

                Hortus Stultus Apprentice Gardener

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                Thanks very much - i was pleasantly surprised that the fronds grew so big, and grew right through til December!

                I’ve been keeping an eye on the tree ferns, the little one is properly established now and seems to require virtually no attention other than watering. The new one is a bit more exposed but hopefully will be okay. I’ve got a few more plants between and around the tree ferns now too. Looking forward to spring and summer in the garden!
                 
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                • ARMANDII

                  ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                  Very easy to grow, PA. So easy that even I have one.........
                  upload_2021-1-1_13-29-36.png

                  upload_2021-1-1_13-31-26.png
                   
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