The Tasmanian tree fern, also known as the Dicksonia antarctica tree fern, can live for hundreds of years in a suitable habitat. To care for it, you need rich soil or planting material, fertilizer and wrapping for winter protection. Ensure that it is well fed and watered during the growing season and protect it from chills in colder weather by moving it indoors or insulating it.
- Choose a location
Outdoors, the Tasmanian tree fern can be grown in a large container or directly in the soil. Before planting in well-draining soil, mix in manure, leaf debris, peat moss and other organic material. Direct sunlight damages the tree fern. Plant it in partial or full shade. Spread several inches of mulch around the tree fern to inhibit weeds and retain moisture.
- Water and fertilize the tree fern
The Tasmanian tree fern needs abundant water. The soil should be continuously moist. The best arrangement is an overhead spray system or drip irrigation. Tree ferns in containers should be misted with water from spray bottles. Use a general-purpose water-based fertilizer every few months.
- Protect the plant from cold weather
If the tree fern is in a container, move it into a house, garage or shed before the first frost. Outdoor plants need to be covered with a frost blanket or a wrapping of chicken wire and straw. Do not remove the protective covering until the threat of frost has completely passed.