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have just bought a dicksonia antarctica.but the four leaves are now dying.have kept it in cold conservatory.until i plant it in after the frosts have past.have i killed it

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tree fern



stick your fingers in the top , you should feel new fronds ready to come through (fairly solid) It should be ok although it most likely would have prefered a fleece round its trunk , i have two that spent the winter in unheated greenhouse,although wrapped up in fleece.

7 Mar, 2009


We live in the Midlands and have four outside. They are four years old and look healthy. We stuff fleece into the top and strap a dustbin lid on top to stop the water getting into the new fronds. We leave the leaves on until they get scorched by the frost and then we chop them off. Our blogs 10 and 11 show the tree ferns.

7 Mar, 2009


fourseasons i had a look at the blog your garden is truly amazing, i will be putting my dicksonias outside for the first time this year and the temperature up here can get real cold in winter if I wrap em well up from just before heavy frost I am hoping they will survive next winter , do you think they have a chance?

7 Mar, 2009


I have 3 planted outside. Very similar, I put fleece and straw into the crown, I leave the leaves on and I can honestly say this is the first winter the leaves have pretty much all gone brown.

Last two years they have stayed green.

7 Mar, 2009


Maccrimmon - you have to be slightly mad to do what we do - but thankfully we're as mad as each other!

We're not as cold as Scotland and we don't protect the trunks. Don't wrap the plants in bubble wrap - it makes the sweat. We saw some tree ferns in Amsterdam one December and they had been killed off the previous year when they had been enveloped in bubble wrap and they had frozen.

We have some large bananas outside and we wrap them first in white fleece and then with weed suppressant brown fabric so that they don't look so obvious. You can put some split cane matting around them if you want to make more of a feature of them.

I've just posted a photo of the tree ferns in their winter garb!

10 Mar, 2009


fourseasons- seen the photo , they look very grand can't decide if a prefer em with fronds or bin lids on top, left mine in the greenhouse ,I have removed fleece one of them still has all its fronds intact so ithink its done ok ,the other got de -frond at B&Q last autumn so i will wait and see what happens with that one ,probably wait till April and then put em outside keeping my eye on night frosts, I will need the room in greenhouse then anyway....should I give em a feed?

11 Mar, 2009


About four times a year we fertilise the lawn with Miracle Grow lawn feed and empty the last bits out of the hose-end feeder into the tops of the tree ferns. Don't know if that's the right chemical mix but they don't seem to complain!

We've had some very wet summers so haven't had to worry too much about watering the tree ferns. When it was a dry year we kept a couple of watering cans nearby and on a hot day put water into the crown and let it spill down the trunk.

12 Mar, 2009

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