Australian Tree Fern - no growth in a year

Garden Grove, CA(Zone 10a)

I put a Brentwood Cyathea cooperi in the ground. It exploded with growth it's first summer. Then last year the last couple of fronds were stunted and abnormal form. It has not grown since last spring. The fronds remained green throughout the year, but are starting to turn brown. I see no signs of new growth. Has anyone seen this before? I'm thinking it could be using all of it's energy growing new underground roots.
thanks, Dave

Atawhai,Nelson, New Zealand(Zone 10a)

Have you been keeping the water up to it? Deformed fronds are nothing unusual, especially if there is only one or two. Tree ferns generally need some shade (until they mature) , plenty of organic material as opposed to fertiliser and a reasonable amount of water.


Garden Grove, CA(Zone 10a)

I have kept it watered. Perhaps at one point it got too dry, and it is now growing new roots. I am surprised it is dormant, while all other Cyatheas around are growing a lot of fronds. At this point I am going to leave it be.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

mine goes through periods of torpor and growth... it sometimes stops growing completely when it gets hot, especially if I forget to water it for a day - when it gets hot in southern California, these trees need the trunks and crowns (not necessarily the underground roots) watered daily, if not 2-3x a day. Mine has fried already two times this spring, and all growing stops soon after. But then it shoots out 2-4 fronds in a row after that. Keep damp all the time and it will be happier.


Palmbob said what I was gonna ask~ are ya watering from the top or bottom. I had a surprise with my N.Z tree fern. It came back after being under 3 ft of snow this year. (!)...Its really slow but I water on top and I see lots more growth than if it just soaks up groundwater from the drip hoses.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

of course.. tree fern 'trunks' are really roots, and so they absorb moisture. Always water tree ferns at the crowns.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

i see some tree fern growers/enthusiasts not in tropical/semitropical areas..
ive been thinking of trying austsralian cyanthea cooperi..?? im in provo utah.. january lows
get to 10F easy..not for long..but do get there..
im wondering if i can plant out in spring..and grow out till mid fall and dig up and winter store..
in dormancy???
thoughts?? thanks much...

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

these tend to resent being dug up... I would get one in a large pot and bury the pot in the spring in a pot-shaped hole. And remove the pot in the fall. But these also hate being indoors for long where it's dry (low humidity is very tough on these)... if you have a green house, that would be perfect, and you could move it a nice humid, bright greenhouse for the winter.


Indeed, I have lost more fern family plants to temperature problem reated issues than anything, though at the same time, here I have seen a Fern buried in a foot of snow come back in the spring stronger than ever, surviving the dry desert is harder than the Utah, air, more humid there to be sure but moving in and out is ALWAYS tricky...

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