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Dicksonia antarctica (Soft Tree Fern)

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Helpful articles

Choosing your garden wall in 6 easy steps. Learn about the various types of garden walls and how to select one that suits your requirements.

Bulletproof landscape plants. Not all plants are equal. Many require the soil and climate (amongst other things) to be 'just right'. The plants described in this article are the ones that deserve the title of 'bulletproof' and are a good starting point for an easy-care garden.

Microclimates in your garden. Did you know your whole garden may be a microclimate that allows you to grow plants that would not thrive on the other side of the street? Read this article to learn more.

Ground covers.

Plant description

dicksonia antarctica soft tree fern 003

dicksonia antarctica soft tree fern 002

dicksonia antarctica soft tree fern 001

This very tough tree fern is probably the best choice if you are looking for a reliable fern for a shady position in the garden. The graceful fronds are produced throughout the warmer months of the year once the plant gets fully established, a time when it is also surprisingly capable of withstanding dry spells. The fibrous trunk should be kept shaded while the plant is getting established and once the plant reaches full size the trunk can be used as a host for epiphytes such as orchids. The only maintenance required is the removal of dead and dying fronds once or twice a year and feeding with well rotted manure at the same time.

Further reading: Top ten native plants and Best natives for pots and small gardens (articles written by native plant expert and horticulturalist Angus Stewart).

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: n/a
Flowering season: not specified

Scent

No

Plant size

Maximum height: 15 metres
Minimum height: 1.5 metres

Maximum width: 2 metres
Minimum width: 1 metres

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

Will tolerate partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is not salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Not specified.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: dry, moist, well-drained.

Clay: well-drained.

Sand: moist, well-drained.

Soil pH: 5.5-6.5

Miscellaneous information

Native to: Australia.

Planting season: autumn and spring.

Types of fertiliser: General purpose.

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