Hi I'm new round here and this is my first post.
I have a 6 year old dicsonia antartica which stands about 6' tall and
is planted under a cherry tree facing north is a reasonably shady
position. it was moved there 2 years ago from a pot.
Unfortunatly it has started to get what looks like wind burn on the
fronds and the emerging croziers have just stopped unferling and have
blackened off and died, i water almost every other day and feed it with
a seaweed feed every 6 weeks, i have a cycanthea australis which has
done exacly the same last year and has been dormant this season,
Do any of you have any idea what may have caused this and how or if i
can remedy it, or are the ferrns destined for the compost heap?
Any suggestions are most welcome.
If it's 6ft tall, I'd almost be willing to bet the farms that it's much
older than 6 years.
I'd say that it is more than likely wind damage, but it could also be the
seaweed feeding if it is high in phosphorus.
In their natural habitat these ferns prefer to live in gullies and usually
under the canopy of trees so they wouldn't get much wind but could get very
cold conditions (down to -10 C where I know they do grow well).
I wish I could show you a wild area near me where they grow by their 10s of
thousands in just such a state. Glorious, glorious, glorious. Like a
cathedral without the dogma and cant.
This area is quite moist and is known as 'wet sclerophyll' forest but
Dicksonia antarctica can also survive quite well for some time in dry
Most internet sites will no doubt tell you that they like fertile moist soil
but remember that Australia is deficient in phosphorus, our 'fertile' will
not be the same as a Brits definition of fertile and plants here have
learned to survive with low levels of many nutrients and especially
phosphorus - think perhaps high fibre such as leaf litter rather than NPK.
Check the seaweed feeed for its phosphorus content in particular.
Brits (from what I've learned of then reading ngs for years) tend to both
overfeed and overwater Australian natives and then, the plant grows like
Topsy but isn't long lived.
The best way to water a Dicksonia Antarctica is to put a dripper in the
crown and don't bother about the trunk - the crown is the vital bit. Also
the advice given here is to put a tspn of sugar in the crown once a month -
dunno why but that has been widely bandied about.
If I were you, I'd be thinking about phosphorus, wind, and how much sunlight
its getting - I wouldn't worry about cold so much (but it could be a factor
but I have doubts). Day length is much longer in the UK than in Oz and
although our levels of radiation are probably much more fierce than yours,
these plants get less day length than in the UK.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.