How do you water a tree fern

FAQs - Watering Tree Ferns | Passionfruit not fruiting | Native seed collecting | Storing pumpkin


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Gardening Australia presenters answer commonly asked gardening questions

SERIES 30 | Episode 12


JANE: The trunks of tree ferns are actually a root mass, so the best technique for irrigating is to apply water up and down the trunk. Don’t make the mistake of watering into the crown of the tree fern – water tends to collect here and can cause the crown and new growth to rot out.


JERRY: There are three things that could contribute to this fairly common complaint

  1. 1. Too much nitrogen – fertilisers high in nitrogen promote lush, healthy foliage growth, but will inhibit the formation of flowers and fruit
  2. 2. Add a pollen partner – Passionfruit pollination and fruit yield is increased by having more than one plant present. Passionfruits are able to recognise their own pollen, so if they receive pollen from another passionfruit, you will get more fruit.
  3. 3. Regular Irrigation – Passionfruits resent irregular watering schedules or changes to watering frequency, and will often respond to these changes by failing to set fruit. Consistent watering and moisture levels are paramount to happy, healthy, productive passionfruit.

CLARENCE: Plant materials, including seeds, can not be removed from bushland areas without a permit.  Removal of any plant materials and seeds from these spaces deprives fauna of habitat and food sources, and can seriously impact floral diversity. 


SOPHIE: If you grow pumpkins, you can certainly store them for longer than you may realise. Allow the pumpkin vine to die off naturally and then harvest your pumpkins, ensuring you leave at least 10cm of stalk attached to the fruit.  Only store pumpkins that aren’t damaged or injured, and store in a cool, dark place.  Ensure the pumpkins are not touching each other when stored, and check them weekly to make sure nothing has gone rotten.  Thick skinned varieties of pumpkin can be stored for around 12 months (sometimes longer) whereas the thinner-skinned varieties must be consumed earlier than that.

  • Jane Edmanson, Presenter
  • Jerry Coleby-Williams, Presenter
  • Clarence Slockee, Presenter
  • Sophie Thomson, Presenter


Full Episode

2019 | SERIES 30 | Episode 12

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FAQs - Watering Tree Ferns | Passionfruit not fruiting | Native seed collecting | Storing pumpkin

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How to Grow and Care for Australian Tree Fern

Contrary to its name, the Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi, also known as Sphaeropteris cooperi) is actually more tree than fern. Typically, when we think of ferns, we envision plants such as the painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum) or autumn ferns (Dryopteris erythrosora) , which achieve a mature height of about 18 to 24 inches.

But, in its native habitat of Australia, a tree fern can grow up to 50 feet tall. This tropical plant is easily too tall for most indoor growing situations except for large conservatories and greenhouses. Still, if your space and environment allow, it can be a beautiful addition to your landscape.

Characterized by lacy, feathery fronds that grow from 10 to 20 feet in length and a hair-like, scale-covered trunk, the fast-growing, evergreen Australian tree fern can bring an exotic touch to any garden. It's best planted in the early spring and prefers warm temperatures and partial shade year-round.

Common Name Australian tree fern, Cooper's tree fern, lacy tree fern, scaly tree fern
Botanical Name Cyathea cooperi
Family Cyatheaceae
Plant Type Evergreen fern
Mature Size Typically 15–25 ft. tall, 10–12 ft. wide; up to 50 ft. tall in the wild
Sun Exposure Partial sun
Soil Type Moist, well-drained
Soil pH Neutral, acidic
Hardiness Zones 8–11 (USDA)
Native Area Australia
Toxicity Not toxic to humans or animals

Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for an Australian Tree Fern

Australian Tree Fern Care

Australian tree ferns thrive in mid-elevation tropical environments where they can sometimes be found growing in great, prehistoric forests swathed in tepid mist. The key to growing a healthy Australian tree fern is to provide it with dappled sunlight or shade, ample humidity, and consistently moist soil. these plants are tolerant of salty winds near coastlines, but they do not tolerate salty soil conditions.

The trunk of the Australian tree fern starts out as a low, wide clump and spreads as much as six feet in a year before growing upward into a single slender trunk covered in glossy, ginger-brown hairs. The fronds are broad, bright green with triangular lacy leaves; they do not change color in the fall, and do not bear flowers or fruit. 

The Australian tree fern is one of the most commonly-seen tree ferns in the tropics, but unless you live in Australia or a similar region, you might have to go out of your way to purchase one. They're mostly grown as large, potted ornamentals in the United States and, when they are grown outdoors, are found mainly in public gardens and arboretums in tropical or semi-tropical zones. The plant has naturalized itself in Hawaii, where it's regarded as invasive due to its fast growth and prolific self-propagation via its spores.

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak


Although Australian tree ferns are shade-loving plants in general, they can also thrive in partial sun or dappled sun locations where they receive six hours of light a day. Keep in mind that the more direct sunlight the plant receives, the more likely it is that you'll need to increase your watering schedule.


Australian tree ferns can tolerate a variety of soil conditions including sand, loam, and clay. That being said, they will thrive best in a moist, loamy mixture that is rich but well-draining with a neutral to acidic pH level. It's also recommended that you add a layer of mulch around the tree, which will add more nutrients to the soil and act as a barrier to seal in moisture (particularly during very hot weather).


Keep the soil moist at all times. Australian tree ferns are not drought-tolerant and need weekly watering. In extremely dry weather conditions, their need for moisture and humidity is extremely important. Avoid watering the crown directly because it can cause rot—instead, water the trunk and ensure the soil is consistently moist.

Temperature and Humidity

Australian tree ferns like a consistently warm and humid environment with temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Australian tree ferns do not acclimate well to rapid changes in humidity or temperature, which can result in browning fronds. In colder areas, you can grow the fern in a container, which gives you the flexibility to move it indoors for the fall and winter once temperatures drop too low.


During the growing season, feed your Australian tree fern monthly with a liquid fertilizer. Larger specimens are heavier feeders and might require feeding every other week year-round. For the amount of fertilizer to use, follow the instructions on the fertilizer label.

Types of Australian Tree Ferns

About 1,000 different kinds of tree ferns are found in tropical or subtropical settings.

  • 'Brentwood' is a cultivar that grows faster than most tree ferns and is larger with darker green fronds than the species.
  • The New Zealand or Tasmanian tree fern is closely related, but the species is actually Dicksonia antarctica, and it tends to have a narrower crown than the Australian tree fern (but has similar requirements).

Propagating Australian Tree Fern

Australian tree fern can only be propagated from spores. You cannot propagate this tree fern vegetatively from cuttings.

  1. Collect the spores from a mature frond onto a piece of paper.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over soilless potting medium to sterilize it and remove any pathogens, which can affect germination. Let the potting mix drain and cool completely before filling it into a four-inch pot.
  3. Sprinkle the spores on the potting mix and cover it with a plastic dome or bag.
  4. Place the pot in a location with a consistent temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and indirect light.
  5. Keep it moist at all times, The spores will take 2 to 6 weeks to germinate.

Potting and Repotting Australian Tree Ferns

An Australian tree fern will grow rapidly, so make sure you plant it somewhere in your landscape where it has room to grow and expand. If you're growing your tree fern in a container, repot it annually into a larger pot (with fresh soil). Because the tree fern is susceptible to root rot, make sure the container has large drainage holes. Plastic pots don't dry out as fast as clay pots so they are generally more suitable for this type of fern that needs to be kept moist at all times.

When the plant reaches the maximum size allowed by the growing space, stop repotting to slow down its growth. Eventually, it will likely outgrow both the pot and the room.


The Australian tree fern is a fairly hardy tree fern that can tolerate occasional low winter temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature zones USDA 8 through 11. But to protect the fronds from cold damage, it is best planted in a sheltered spot such as the side of the house that is protected from strong winds.

In addition, the roots of Australian fern grown in containers can be damaged in the winter due to their lack of insulation. Winterizing the container by wrapping it with bubble wrap gives it extra protection.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

While the Australian tree fern doesn't have any major issues with diseases or pests, it can occasionally get mites or mealybugs. The first treatment recommendation is to spray the infestation with strong streams of water; if that doesn't work, treat the plant with neem oil or an insecticide until all signs of infestation have gone.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. “Australian Tree Fern.” Hawaii Invasive Species Council, 21 Feb. 2013,

  2. “Sphaeropteris Cooperi.”,



How Often Should I Water My Tree Fern?

Watering your tree fern is one of the most important things you can do.
But how often do you need to water?
The amount of water your tree fern needs depends on the species. Some need more water than others. Plant experts recommend watering your tree fern 4-5 times a week. It is also important to water your tree fern at the right time. Read on to find out more.

Do you prune tree ferns?

Tree ferns are a type of tree fern which is a type of plant. They are native to Australia and New Zealand. Tree ferns are a popular houseplant because of their unique appearance and ability to grow in a wide variety of conditions.

Do ferns like moist soil?

Ferns love soil with higher levels of moisture. You can plant the fern in soil with water if it is not on the surface of the soil. If you want to grow your fern in a dry area, you can remove some water around the plant's roots and then place it in a pot with good drainage.

How often should ferns be watered in summer?

It depends on the type of fern and the climate. Some ferns should be watered more frequently, such as in the summer. Generally speaking, there are two main tips for keeping a fern healthy:
1) Do not water when it rains or when the air humidity is too high, otherwise your pot will quickly lose water. > Water ferns when their soil is dry, at least once a week during the summer months. But if you're worried about how much moisture they need to stay healthy all winter, or you want to enjoy all your greenery even in winter, then you should water them weekly for that entire period of time.

How often should I water my tree fern?

Every night!
Water them during the day as needed (and in extreme heat). You can increase the amount of water you add to the trees, if necessary, by cutting back on watering and waiting until night.

Should I cut fallen leaves from a fern?

Ferns, like other plants, need sunlight to grow. So, if you cut your fern leaves, it will stop its growth. However, if the fern is transplanted into a pot and placed in a sunny spot, it will grow back.

Why are my tree fern leaves turning brown?

When tree fern leaves turn brown, they may have one of the following two problems: they may not have enough water or not enough light. To solve this problem, check if your plant is getting enough water and sunlight. Also check to see if anything is blocking the sunlight on your plant. Remove all objects that prevent the penetration of sunlight to the plant. If your plant is not getting enough sunlight, it can also cause your leaves to turn brown. To solve this problem, move the plant closer to a window so that it receives sunlight and can grow well. If there is anything that prevents sunlight from reaching your plant, you can use aluminum foil or aluminum sheet to deflect sunlight from hitting the plant. This can help your plant grow well and avoid any problems such as leaf browning. # Chapter 2: Best Home Brewing Kits – Pros and Cons

## Best Home Brewing Kits - Pros and Cons

Home brewing is one of the most enjoyable activities to enjoy with friends and family.

How long do tree ferns live?

Tree ferns are a variety of ferns with thick dark green leaves covered with a layer of soft brownish red spores. The spore boxes are the part that is actually responsible for the tree fern being a fern. The frond is the part that is used to identify the fern as a fern. The frond is also used to identify tree ferns as ferns.

Why is my tree fern dying?

This is due to the lack of water in the air. Check it daily or use more frequent watering to keep the tree green.

Can tree fern be grown indoors?

Yes, the fern grows in the tropics, and if you buy a tree that is hardy in your climate, you can grow it indoors. You can do this without soil or other conditions. The only thing that will slow them down is the lack of sunlight.

How often should ferns be sprayed?

Ferns do not require special care. Spraying is usually recommended when it gets too hot, sunny or damp.

Do tree ferns grow well in pots?

The tree fern is a type of fern that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. The leaves can grow up to 50 cm long and 10 cm wide. The trunk of the tree fern is round, the diameter of the trunk can reach 1 meter. The stems of the tree fern are erect and branched. The stem of the plant is hollow and woody. Tree fern roots are fleshy. The leaf stems are 2.5 to 5 m long. The leaf axes are 1 to 2 m long. The leaf blade is 3 to 5 m long. The leaf venation is pinnate. The fern sporangium is ovoid.

How often do I water my tree fern?

Tree fern needs about ¾ inch of water per week, but this varies by species. A mature tree fern should receive adequate water each week from rain or sprinklers. When watering a tree fern, do not soak the root system, as this can lead to rotting of the roots and their death. It's also a good idea to check your tree fern every few days to see if it's getting enough water or not. You can easily do this by using your finger or stick to check if it is wet or dry. If you find it dry, you need to add more water to your tree fern. You should check for signs of disease or pest infestation before adding water to your tree fern. Signs include wilting of the leaves and fungal spots on the leaves. If you see these signs, you should seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your tree fern. You can also buy fertilizer from your local gardening store and scatter it around the tree fern.

Can ferns be watered?

The fern is an excellent house plant. They are easy to care for and grow in a wide variety of conditions. Ferns are a good choice for people who want an easy-to-care houseplant. Ferns are drought tolerant and do not need much water. However, they need to be watered regularly. Ferns are one of the simplest houseplants that are easy to transfuse. Waterlogging ferns can cause them to rot. Ferns are also very sensitive to temperature. They like to be stored between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high, they will not be able to grow.

How can you tell if a fern is waterlogged?

Yes, but they must be completely soaked in water before being placed in pots. To check if your plant is getting enough water, place your finger in the soil near the top of the soil ball, and then gently press down on the top of the soil ball. If it feels dry and hard to press down, it's time to give your fern some more water. The best way to water your fern is to use a spray bottle or spray bottle, as too much water can cause root rot and mold growth. Before pouring water, it must be thoroughly absorbed into the soil. This should be done daily until new leaves appear on the plant. After that, you can reduce the frequency of watering to once every two weeks or so. You can also use an automated system that waters your plant on its own. It's important to remember that when your fern has enough water, its leaves will begin to curl downward rather than expand upward.

Can you over water ferns?

The fern is a plant that can be found in many parts of the world. This is a plant that has many uses. It is used for medicinal purposes. Ropes and baskets are made from it. It is used to make furniture and is used to make paper. It is used to make paper and is used to make paper.

How to take care of the tree fern?

You must take care of the tree fern by removing the soil from under it. You can buy tree fern pots and put them in the dishwasher.

How to dry a waterlogged fern?

Wet fern plants can be dried by placing them in a sunny location with good air circulation. When the plant is completely dry, it can be carefully removed from the soil.

How much water should I give my tree fern?

Use a plastic container. When you buy a plant or tree fern, they may need a certain amount of water each day. You can keep a plant or tree fern in a bowl of water and let it grow in that bowl for as long as you can. If it's more than one year, change the water once every two weeks and put small stones in the bottom of the bowl to keep your soil from soaking in water because this will damage the roots, causing plants and tree ferns to rot.

In conclusion, one way to ensure that your tree fern stays healthy all year round is to provide it with adequate water throughout its life cycle. To do this effectively, just make sure your fern gets enough sunlight during the winter. However, if your tree fern decides not to go outside in the winter, you should provide it with enough supplemental light before spring arrives. Then, as soon as spring comes, provide the fern with light for the whole day. You can do this by placing the light directly above the fern. After all, your tree fern will be able to do without additional lighting all year round.

FAQ: How often should I water my tree fern?


ByBenjamin Noah

water enough every day or as often as possible when new leaves appear. It is important to continue watering the trunk for at least 6 months after planting.

Do tree ferns need a lot of water?

General watering of tree ferns. If possible, water your tree fern with a cold bucket or hose every week from late spring to fall.

Can you fly over the ferns?

Over-watering causes yellowing and wilting of the leaves, which can eventually lead to root rot and fungal diseases, especially if the pot is in water. Too little water causes wilting. You can also increase the humidity around the fern by placing the pots in a pebble-lined tray.

How often do I water my tree fern?

Water generously daily or as often as possible when new leaves appear. It is important to continue watering the trunk for at least 6 months after planting.

Are potted wood ferns good?

Growing in Containers Tree ferns can be grown in containers, outdoors or in a large greenhouse or conservatory. They need bright, filtered light and moderate moisture and should be planted in Lehmericace compost with about 20% potting soil, no peat added for extra humus.

Why is my tree fern dying?

If some of the leaves of your tree fern have turned brown, this indicates that they may have been sunburned or the plant has not received enough moisture. If the area where you planted the tree ferns is too hot, you may need to move them to a more comfortable location.

Why do fern leaves turn brown?

You may see brown crowns on garden ferns if the soil gets too dry. If it seems dry, pour it slowly and deeply. Stop watering when the water runs off rather than sinking into the soil. If your fern has brown tips due to too low humidity, it's best to choose a different plant for the space.

How long do tree ferns live?

The half-life of leaves in Hawaii was six months (Durand and Goldstein, 2001a). In general, C. cooperi grows faster, has a higher photosynthesis rate, higher leaf area mass (AML), and produces more leaves than native Hawaiian ferns (Durand and Goldstein, 2001a, b).

Do you cut trees?

Leaves should be left on the plant if not dead and then cut off. Green leaves continue to produce food for the plant. Removing them before they die will reduce the amount of forage produced, resulting in shorter and fewer leaves the next season.

Should I prune dead fern leaves?

To improve their appearance, remove brown or yellow leaves from indoor ferns. Trimming those dead leaves will also improve air circulation around the plant, which will help reduce fungus or mold problems.

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