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Tropical Plants: Tree Fern Info and advise requested

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jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2004
9:59 AM

Post #998461

I saw a few Austrialian Tree Ferns at my local nursery. I looked them up here on the plant data-base and they look great. I have decided to purchase and plant one.
#1 should I leave it in the container and wait until next spring?
#2 should I plant under a growing tree or in the open?
#3 What kind of annual growth should I expect?
#4 Can they be planted close to the house or do they need room?

Thanks, I live in San Antonio Tx. (8-b) so feel free to add any information and / or comments you think I need to know, George aka jester.
BugFreak
Navarre (NW FL), FL
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2004
10:23 AM

Post #998467

Jester, I used to live in San Antonio. I don't think that they can handle the winters there. I had mine in a container that I carried inside during the winter. They are awesome plants though. I can understand why you would want one. Maybe closer to the house on a sheltered side it would be okay. I took mine with me when I moved to Colorado. Needless to say they died before I even got there.

'm surprised at what grows there along the Riverwalk. That whole area is very well protected by the significant drop in elevation along the river. What a nice look they created there. That's what I miss the most. That and all the hole in the wall, mom and pop, old lady nurseries. Those little hidden places had all the best things. Things they've had for ever that most people have never even seen. Oh, the Riverwalk... Many the days I spent "seed/cutting snatching" there. lol
larrycook
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2004
12:04 PM

Post #998523

I grow them. Most in sun, underneath trees or against house. I also have a couple in a shady area and also one on covered poarch. Most all need daily watering. They are pretty tricky to grow, but they get better as they develop a stalk. I did see one that was in ground come back from mild winter freeze. A lady in Washington State had one in ground that had developed more winter tolerance.
MsCritterkeeper
The Heart of Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2004
5:35 PM

Post #999087

Jester just a note from my experience...watch out for the trunk when you do move it around, after it develops a stalk... some folks are very sensitive to the hairy like covering it develops over time..makes ya itch like crazy!
I had one and traded it off because everytime I got close to it it was almost like I rolled in poision ivy and I'm not all that sesnitive to it..lol

MsC
BugFreak
Navarre (NW FL), FL
(Zone 8b)

August 12, 2004
6:29 PM

Post #999208

MsCritter,
I didn't know this about the little hairs. It kind of sounds like the reaction people get from the hairs on the abdomen of a trantula. I think after reading this I might get one too. Thanks for posting this Jester.
Eclipse
Norwalk, IA
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2004
10:08 PM

Post #999563

Keep the crown and trunk watered daily.The trunk as it grows is made up of roots actually.So they can't handle drought well or high heat without misting or watering the trunk. Does that make sense?? :-)
tropicalaria
Tri-Cities, WA
(Zone 7b)

August 13, 2004
12:00 AM

Post #999709

Make sure you get one of the hardier varieties of treefern. Around here the "Australian treefern" usually sold is cyathea cooperi, and not nearly hardy enough to survive in the ground in zone 8. When I was in the Seattle area, zone 8b, I had a couple dicksonia antarctica (known as the "Tasmanian treefern") which did very well in my garden each year. The fronds, especially the new ones, burn as the winter gets colder. Don't remove them as they will provide shelter for the new growth coming in the spring.

Provide lots of water in the summer to the trunk and the roots (never let it dry out) and expect the root ball to get very large. Planting in a protected area is a good idea, but mind the area needed for those roots.

Ian Barclay has a site which has been around for a long time which goes into great detail on the subject or treeferns in temperate zones:
http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/treeferns/
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 13, 2004
10:11 AM

Post #1000290

wow, thanks guys for the information. I have a 2 story house and on a hill. I have one side of the house that is completely protected. I think I will try there. I will seek out a hardy Tasmanian version. Hey BugFreak, I will toast ya with a Margarita next time I'm down at Dick's last resort. The riverwalk has some great plants no doubt!
BugFreak
Navarre (NW FL), FL
(Zone 8b)

August 13, 2004
6:48 PM

Post #1000969

Thanks Jester. All while we here have to worry about hurricane season. lol
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 14, 2004
3:36 AM

Post #1001640

here in So. CAlif zone 10
mine has grown in the ground approx. 6" per year for 30 years :-)

Dick

tropicalaria
Tri-Cities, WA
(Zone 7b)

August 14, 2004
6:07 AM

Post #1001764

strever-
You can't tell us you have a 15'+ treefern and not post pictures!

:)
BugFreak
Navarre (NW FL), FL
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
2:21 AM

Post #1002694

Tropic is right. I would love to see this baby.
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
5:32 AM

Post #1002842

I 3rd the motion :- )
pics!!!
AlohaHoya
Keaau, HI
(Zone 11)

August 15, 2004
6:25 AM

Post #1002866

The only little bit of info I can add is that a spray fert. on the whole trunk works wonders...but make that 1/2 strength. Can you believe that in our area the Australian Tree Fern is considered an invasive pest! I don't think so and will grow them till the cows come home!
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
7:34 AM

Post #1002895

i will take some picts a little later today & post them

Dick
DeepRoots
Willacoochee, GA
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
1:03 PM

Post #1003100

yes, I beleive it AlohaHoya, compared to slower growing Cibotiums and Sadlerias that are native, Cyatheas grow and spore at a MUCH faster rate.
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
11:10 PM

Post #1003718

here is a pict of the area where the tree fern is growing
you can see the trunk going up & up
it was about 4 ft high 28 years ago

Dick

Thumbnail by Strever
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
11:12 PM

Post #1003720

here is looking up thru the rafters which are about 10 ft high

Thumbnail by Strever
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 15, 2004
11:14 PM

Post #1003727

& the final view is showing it growing higher then the roof

Thumbnail by Strever
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicalaria
Tri-Cities, WA
(Zone 7b)

August 16, 2004
3:05 AM

Post #1004092

Wow, that looks like a palm tree!
Very nice.
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2004
4:05 AM

Post #1004153

there use to be 2 of them
but when i became ill 3 years ago the watering became haphazard
& one of them died from the lack of regular watering
so even in the ground they need our care in So. Calif.

Dick
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2004
7:43 AM

Post #1004289

The treefern is G-R-E-A-T that Travelers Palm in the background is also. Is the Travelers Palm yours also?
BugFreak
Navarre (NW FL), FL
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2004
7:07 PM

Post #1004935

Now THAT is impressive. I love it. Bummer about having lost the other one.
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 16, 2004
10:12 PM

Post #1005160

Jester
i always thought that was the biggest bird of paradise i had ever seen
it is my neighbors

Dick
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 17, 2004
8:59 AM

Post #1005858

lol, Iove the travelers palm. Another plant I am concidering.
They have a nice one at the San Antonio botanical garden but it is in heir in door Palm area (absolutely gorgeous). Thanks for posting the pics for us. what a wonderful treefern you have.

This message was edited Aug 17, 2004 4:03 AM

This message was edited Aug 17, 2004 4:09 AM
nadabigfarm
Gardena, CA

September 2, 2004
5:50 AM

Post #1031087

I have to add to this thread. Across the street from me at El Camino College in Torrance, Ca, there is one that must be at least 30' or more. It is surrounded by an exterior stairwell which protects it from the wind. You have to walk up to the 3rd floor to get eye level with the massive 8' fronds. I will post a pic next time I'm over there.
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2004
8:54 AM

Post #1031144

please do. I would love to see won that large.
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2005
12:12 PM

Post #1503253

Well I finally got my shade garden situated and added in my first treefer (Tasmanian). Just thought I'd update the thread in case anyone was still following it.
George in San Antonio

This message was edited May 28, 2005 7:24 AM
patischell
Fort Pierce, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 28, 2005
12:21 PM

Post #1503275

jester, I would love to see pictures of your shade garden. I'm trying to put together a tiny one, So far everything still in containers as I try to settle on some kind of design, Mostly different ferns with some Coleus for color. I have two small tree ferns (can't remember the names) that only grow about 8' max.
Pati
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2005
12:27 PM

Post #1503284

Pati me and the digital camera have been having a disagreement recently but I will give it another try. I have many different Caladiums, Some Elephant Ears (those are great) many different Coleus some bananas (two different) along with some shade loving Cycads in there. I will try to get some pics up. Let you know when.
George in San Antonio
patischell
Fort Pierce, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 28, 2005
12:38 PM

Post #1503306

jester, the brand name of my digital camera is "The !@#$% Camera" LOL I have only recently been able to take some pix with it, fortunately in time for my Mother's Day gift. I have White Caladiums in round bowl planters that add such a cool look in all the green ferns. I stick all my Cloeus cuttings around them so that when their time is up for the year there will still be something growing. This is my long-wished-for fountain...gift from my son.
Pati

Thumbnail by patischell
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2005
4:13 PM

Post #1503647

Pati looks like you and I bought the same brand Digital Camera (lol). Love the fountain set up with the ferns and all. I am green with envy over your zone! Oh the Cycads I could grow in 10-a ... a man can dream... ; - )
Strever
Hiouchi, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2005
4:27 PM

Post #1503672

George & Patti
here is a better pict of my shade garden where the above tree resides
Dick

Thumbnail by Strever
Click the image for an enlarged view.

patischell
Fort Pierce, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 28, 2005
4:37 PM

Post #1503694

Lovely, lovely, lovely! I'm going to try and get some pix of mine. It's a work in progress, but so far I'm just loving it.
Pati
jester
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2005
10:01 PM

Post #1504285

I'll always have Tree Fern envy when it comes to your garden Steve. So beautiful. What kind of Elephant Ears are those?
D3VNT
Round Rock, TX

June 3, 2011
3:16 PM

Post #8606700

Old thread, but hoping you folks who posted about tree ferns years ago can update us on your progress.

I just planted a Cyathea cooperi in full sun (in ground) in Round Rock (north Austin). Am I going to regret it? I have seen so much conflicting info on these ferns to know if 1) they'll survive our summer heat in full sun and 2) if they'll survive our winter. I don't mind some front die-back as long as the plant perks up in spring.

Thanks in advance!!
D
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

June 3, 2011
3:52 PM

Post #8606742

Cyathea cooperi is a rainforest plant, so your problem will be low humidity with the heat. A lot of tropical plants can take quite a bit of heat and even sun, provided the humidity is also very high. Cyathea australis is better at dealing with heat and more exposed conditions. But of course it does also have its own limits.

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