How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

ourarka

How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by ourarka » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:33 pm

I gave my Dicksonia antarctica a soaking today and it occurred to me that it must have got very dry over these last couple of weeks. While we haven't seen temps much below -1 to -2 there has been no rain and a very drying wind. Is this likely to have caused a problem or is it only really when the weather is warm that it needs semi-permanent moisture?

kata

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by kata » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:07 pm

Hi ourarka,

I miust say I have fretted over my first new one, is it too early to water, should I do this or that? :lol:

Fern Rob is excellent with any concerns you have. I can't help except to say I followed a video on a programe on ferns and he said never allow the stump to dry out.

icon_cheers

Fern Rob

http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk/forum/v ... 35&t=18931

fern Rob

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by fern Rob » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:33 pm

Really you don't want tree ferns to go without water. If Dicksonia antarctica is a new import trunk then it will it needs plenty of water and a weak seaweed feed until it gets a good root system. Most of my Dicksonia antarctica s have been planted for a few years and have good root. Systems so they take water as they need it from the clay soil in my gardens that never drys out.
Don't let the Dicksonia antarctica logs freeze when you have water it as it will cause a lot of damage if not death to the plant.

I have my Dicksonia antarctica on a drip water system and give each one a high nitrogen feed every month or so in he summer now they are established.
Hope this helps.

Andy P

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Andy P » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:45 pm

The problem i have with mine is that they were only planted last year, so still havn`t grown a decent root system yet, but i`m too worried to water them as we`re getting constant frosts night after night after night. :( So i find myself walking a very fine tightrope between giving them water - resulting in them freezing overnight and killing them. Or not watering - resulting in them dying of thirst. :? Seems i`m damned if i do and damned if i don`t!

fern Rob

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by fern Rob » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:49 pm

I think if a tree fern does not get enouph water the season before then the year after the fronds and croziers are much smaller.

Springy

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Springy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:55 pm

Andy P wrote:The problem i have with mine is that they were only planted last year, so still havn`t grown a decent root system yet, but i`m too worried to water them as we`re getting constant frosts night after night after night. :( So i find myself walking a very fine tightrope between giving them water - resulting in them freezing overnight and killing them. Or not watering - resulting in them dying of thirst. :? Seems i`m damned if i do and damned if i don`t!
I have been having exactly the same dilemma! Mine were planted earlier this year though as they were just stood in their pots on the patio. I thought it would be better to plant them to at least protect the roots a bit more from freezing and so they could draw up a bit of moisture.

fern Rob

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by fern Rob » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:58 pm

I water my Dicksonia antarctica when I know there will be no frost until they dry out, I have not watered my Dicksonia antarctica yet don't want te weather o kill them off at this last cold spell.

Springy

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Springy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:08 pm

I have had frosts every night for weeks now so I have had to bite the bullet a few times and take the risk to water them. Fingers crossed I haven't done more harm than good! icon_scratch

fern Rob

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by fern Rob » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:10 pm

I can not decide wether to water m Dicksonia antarctica s yet.

Andy P

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Andy P » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:29 pm

My way of thinking is that , whilst we`re still getting frosts, then the plants will remain dormant so won`t really need the water anyway so i`ve not been watering. We`ve not had any rain for weeks now though and they must be bone dry. Especially with the cold, drying winds we`ve been having. Just fingers crossed i`ve done the right thing. icon_scratch

fern Rob

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by fern Rob » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:35 pm

Not watering them is apparentley just as likley to cause them dammage.

Andy P

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Andy P » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:35 am

fern Rob wrote:Not watering them is apparentley just as likley to cause them dammage.
Probably so but i`m hedging my bets that a Dicksonia antarctica can survive a short term drought better than being frozen solid for night after night. Especially when dormant.

Tom2006
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Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by Tom2006 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:01 am

They need watering at anytime of the year IF they are dry. I have been watering mine every few days for weeks now. A bigger killer of tree ferns if dry over cold.

I have to disagree with Rob on the feeding as Dicksonia antarctica's need limited fertiliser even in the growing season. I scatter a few handfuls of chicken pellets around their base April/May time and feed once a month with half dilute liquid seaweed. It is all about the water/moisture in the growing season, more, is more when it comes to Dicksonia antarctica. icon_thumleft
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.

ourarka

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by ourarka » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:28 am

Oh well, fingers crossed then as opinion seems slightly varied. How would any damage from dryness manifest itself?

charliepridham

Re: How dry can a Dicksonia antarctica get in winter?

Post by charliepridham » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:57 am

Not sure it helps, but mine have a permanant dripper comes on twice a day for 30 mins a time and are kept constantly wet, there are a load of small ferns (native) growing on the trunk and I can see from these whether its wet enough. Since I put the dripper in I have had better retention of fronds over winter even in very cold conditions when previously I always lost the fronds. Yes they look tatty but they are still green, and yes we have been having the same cold as everyone else! ponds were frozen again this morning.

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