The Japanese fern tree requires a partially shaded location, basic watering and fertilizer for optimum growth. Well-drained soil and a warm climate facilitate a healthy tree.
The Japanese fern tree is a hardy plant that grows well in slightly acidic soil. Before planting a Japanese fern tree, water the area where the tree will be planted, and mix compost, or another natural fertilizer, into the soil. Mulch can be spread around the base of the tree or mixed with the soil prior to transplanting to make the soil more acidic and to provide the tree with needed nutrients.
Water the tree weekly during the warmest months of the year, but allow the soil to become slightly dry before watering. In cooler or rainy climates, the tree may be watered twice monthly during the growing season. Manure and other natural fertilizers are typically applied to the Japanese fern tree at the beginning of spring, summer and autumn.
If pests become a problem, use a diluted pesticide to eliminate harmful insects. The Japanese fern tree can be pruned in the spring to remove dead or diseased branches and to enhance the appearance of the tree. To prune the tree, remove the branches from the bottom section of the trunk using pruning shears. Diseased branches should be removed about 2 inches from the trunk of the tree.