Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Kristen
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Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Kristen » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:20 pm

I have 4 x 1-foot tall D.A.'s

They are going to live in the unheated conservatory over the winter

How should I pot them up? Pot size? Compost? (I have multi-purpose available, plus Perlite, vermiculite, shard sand, grit)

The one helpful article I read said to stand the posts in a tray of water so they never dry out. Would that still be a good idea through the Winter?

I was planning to put a short bamboo cane in, right to the bottom of the pot, so that when I plant out I can replace the can with a longer one, in the same "hole", pushed right down into the planting hole to anchor the plant until it has rooted out of its pot's rootball.

Many thanks :)
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Tom2006
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Tom2006 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:53 pm

I have planted mine in 70litre containers. Mp and plenty of perlite. Keep moist but not wet.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Kristen » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:19 am

Presumably I can use something smaller than 70L :mrgreen: to overwinter, and then plant out in the Spring? (or would you advise keep them potted & over winter in conservatory for a couple of years?)
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brendan
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by brendan » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:22 am

Kristen do they have roots and fronds or are they just trunks at the moment ?


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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Arlon Tishmarsh » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:27 am

Kristen

Some chip bark in the mix might be a good idea .

I not sure about standing them in water, a nice moisture retentive mix but not waterlogged


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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:52 am

These are not Ensete, and MUST NOT dry out completely or will die. I would not use perlite in the mix, or you may have problems keeping wet in the summer.

Until December 2010 I heard of far more cases of "dried out and died in the greenhouse" than form being outside. Watering of mine outside commenced in January 2011 as were drying out too much even though planted out.

Beware of bark products as they can introduce fungus. One of mine has bracket fungus sprouting out all over the trunk. The Dicksonia antarctica does not appear to be affected by this yet, but not best pleased anyway. :roll:
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:04 am

A mix of MP, sharp sand, bark and peat is often recommended.

Basically you want something that drains well (sharp sand) and is organic based (peat/MP etc) the bark is to keep the mixture open and aerated.


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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Kristen » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:30 am

Right, so I will plant in MP with some sand for drainage, and I do also have some potting bark, which should be sterile - at least at present! - in a suitable sized pot. Pot on in Early Spring if the roots have developed well. Keep in the conservatory during the early Spring to give it a flying start, and then plant out towards end of May.

I think it wants to be in the shade? so I'll keep it shaded in Conservatory and then plant out in a shaded spot.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:56 pm

Its a big fern so you will need a big container. I couldn't get mine in anything other than the large containers I suggested. As Dave and others have said, they will suffer from drying, again hence more soil mix around the base as you can wet this and it will take longer to dry. They rely heavily on their roots so the more the better, even if you are going to plant out in spring. They do however need to be free draining, hence the perlite suggestion, but sharp sand will work equally as well.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Kristen » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:05 pm

I think I haven't described mine very well; the "trunk" is only a foot tall, so I've been able to pot them in 5 Litre pots quite comfortable (about 2" around the outside of the trunk).

I take you point about more compost being easier to keep moist, but I would prefer to have a smaller pot that is less prone to getting water logged, abut to keep a careful eye on it.

But maybe I misunderstood something?
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:48 pm

Bigger pot=Bigger rootball=potentially bigger fronds if well fed and watered.


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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Kristen » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:19 am

But if its a huge pot it won't have fully rooted by the spring, and the rootball will just fall to bits when I plant it out, won't it? (Tom said he had used 70 Litre)

Sorry if I'm missing something blindingly obvious.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:41 am

Kristen wrote:But if its a huge pot it won't have fully rooted by the spring, and the rootball will just fall to bits when I plant it out, won't it? (Tom said he had used 70 Litre)

Sorry if I'm missing something blindingly obvious.
If it does not have much of a rootball now, it will not grow one over winter. I'd pot it just to keep it stable now.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:12 am

Sorry I thought you meant you had a large fern but realise you mean four small ones. Deffo don't need such a large pot. A 25 litre tub should be fine.
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Re: Potting up Dicksonia antartica

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:29 am

My 3ft Dicksonia antarctica from B&Q sales last November was in a 10 litre pot and I just stuck it in the poly overwinter, and watered about once a week just to keep moist.
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