Dicksonia - Man Fern, Soft Tree Fern
DESCRIPTION: These Ferns, commonly called Man Fern, Soft Tree Fern and Tree Fern, are found in tropical America, New Zealand and Australia. These Ferns can reach a height of 40 feet with a spread of 12 feet. D. antarctica is a trunk-forming Fern that grows up to 30 feet high. It has evergreen or semi-evergreen, long, arching fronds that are divided into linear segments. They are pale green when young and turn dark green as they age. The fronds grow up to 10 feet long. This plant is great for a cool sunroom and it may be grown outdoors in frostless or nearly frostless climates.
POTTING: The cool greenhouse kinds need a minimum temperature of 45 degrees and the hothouse kinds one of 55 degrees. The best compost to use consists of two parts peat and equal parts of loam and leaf mold with a liberal amount of sand. The Ferns should be set in containers that are just large enough to hold the roots. They absorb moisture through their aerial roots so spray them throughout the summer to keep them moist. They need moderate humidity. Less water is needed during the winter.
PROPAGATION: Increase them by sowing spores in the summer.
VARIETIES: Warm Greenhouse - D. Lathami; D. Sellowiana.
Cool Greenhouse - D. antarctica; D. fibrosa.
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