I came home today and noticed that several of my Scaly Tree Fern's fronds were shriveled up. I have only had it about a month. It was growing in a container and positioned under a tree in my back yard so it was receiving only filtered sun light (moved it to the front porch today to provide additional sun protection, in case that was the issue). The soil is moist - we have had frequent afternoon downpours recently so I haven't needed to water. The temperature was warm today (88 degrees) but has been has been warmer this year and didn't seem to effect it. What am I doing or not doing to cause this?
I bought a tree fern that I almost lost. Having traveled to where they grow I noticed it rained almost everyday. They also had dapple sun on them from time to time with no ill problems. When I got home mine had almost completely dried up. So every day I put it in the shower when I'm finished. The new fronds have opened and are lush and green. I've found out that they don't just need moist soil they also need humid conditions with moisture on their fronds.
I have just gotten a tree fern that was on the reduced table at a local nursery. There is some good advice to be had in plant files here http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55695/
Most important is to keep the trunk/stem moist to keep fronds from drying out.
On Jul 6, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
THere are several 'forms' of this fern on the market. The form most commonly found in nature in Australia is actually the harder form to find, but is often referred to as Cyathea 'brentwoodi'. It is a much faster and more robust fern than that sold in most nurseries. This plant loves full sun in its native habitat, but here in So Cal, it prefers shade or morning sun. The stem is actually made of rootlets, so it really doesn't have a true stem. To keep this tree looking nice, it is good to keep the root(stem) moist, so to make it look best, a drip system on it, preferably from the crown, works well. Also, spraying the trunk daily, especially in hot weather, helps. Otherwise the leaves tend to brown and die in the heat/sun. It is a great shade plant for other tropicals, too. IT is propagated by germinating the spores on the back of the leaves (not that easy, believe me!).