Dicksonia Antartica

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Libby
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Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Libby » Tue May 12, 2009 6:15 am

This time last year I had fronds appearing, this year nothing, zilch, zero :( in both my 4 footer and my 1 footer :( The small one is definately soft in the middle the big one feels fine and I think it is a bit chillier than it was last year.

So 2 questions

1. if nothing happens, is there anything I can do with it, like saw off the top 6 inches??

2. was 'Montbeliardii' don right in wrapping up his tree ferns, should I have done the same??
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Mick C
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Mick C » Tue May 12, 2009 6:35 am

Well don't lop the top off Libby, you will be left with a dead stump. Hopefully it isn't already a dead stump. I don't know what you can do to encourage the new fronds apart from watering it.

I don't think that anyone bothers to wrap Dicksonia antarctica's anymore, except for people in the north of Scotland perhaps. Maybe 'Montbeliardii' was right after all, but I'll just keep stuffing straw into the crown of mine and it will have to take it's chances.


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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by conrad » Tue May 12, 2009 9:52 am

Libby don't cut off the top - that's the growth point, Dicksonia antartica will not produce buds from lower down the trunk.

I don't protect mine during winter, except for the leaves that naturally accumulate in the crown - which may provide some insulation, but then we are normally quite mild here.

I would be hesitant about watering too much in the crown if its already soft as this could encourage rot to set in.
I would carefully remove any obviously soft croziers as they aren't going to be of use to the fern now anyway and will get in the way of any possible growth coming from below. It will also let a bit of air circulate in around the growth point which wouldn't do any harm.

There could still be life left in it yet, fingers crossed.


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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by simon » Tue May 12, 2009 10:06 am

Libby, The main point about both of those questions is that the growing point is in the crown. so:
1. If you cut the top off you will remove the growing point and the fern will become a log.
2. If you protect anything other than the crown you are wasting your time, which is why most people shove something it the top rather than fleecing or strawing up the whole thing.

Like Mick said, the best thing you can do is keep watering them and wait. It may be that the newly forming crosiers deep in the crown were damaged but the growing point is OK, in which case it will take longer for the plant to generate new crosiers to replace the damaged ones. It may even be late summer when you would normally see a second flush, before anything happens, so don't do anything too hasty.


EDIT: Good point by Conrad, best to water the trunk and surrounding soil rather than directly in to crown.


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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Dave Brown » Tue May 12, 2009 10:23 am

I agree with what has been said. My Dicksonia antarctica has a flush of 9 fronds at the moment, then last year started throwing up individual fronds from June on. If your first flush has been zapped it may not do anything for a while, and then only individual rather fronds than a flush. :wink:

If the worst comes to the worst, and it is really a DDA, then maybe you could buy a small one and insert into the top. I don't know if anyone has tried this but it sounds fiesable. Hopefully the roots would grow down into the trunk. Effectively you would be replacing the growing point, but I guess you would have to pay special attention to watering the trunk:wink:
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by mixiepalms » Tue May 12, 2009 10:28 am

Dave Brown wrote:I agree with what has been said. My Dicksonia antarctica has a flush of 9 fronds at the moment, then last year started throwing up individual fronds from June on. If your first flush has been zapped it may not do anything for a while, and then only individual rather fronds than a flush. :wink:

If the worst comes to the worst, and it is really a DDA, then maybe you could buy a small one and insert into the top. I don't know if anyone has tried this but it sounds fiesable. Hopefully the roots would grow down into the trunk. Effectively you would be replacing the growing point, but I guess you would have to pay special attention to watering the trunk:wink:
Dave thats a whacky idea but it might just work!!!
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simon
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by simon » Tue May 12, 2009 10:34 am

I seem to recall a discussion before about the guys at Urban Jungle trying this out on some of thier dead stock. There was some debate about whether it would be ethical to sell them on once they had taken. I wonder how the experiment worked, if indeed they tried it.


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Simba
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Simba » Tue May 12, 2009 11:04 am

mixiepalms wrote:Dave thats a whacky idea but it might just work!!!
icon_thumright icon_thumleft
Its an excellent idea, infact, in theory you could plant small Dicksonia antarctica into any upright structure such as a dead log or tree trunk...... icon_thumleft


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simon
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by simon » Tue May 12, 2009 11:42 am

Simba wrote:
mixiepalms wrote:Dave thats a whacky idea but it might just work!!!
icon_thumright icon_thumleft
Its an excellent idea, infact, in theory you could plant small Dicksonia antarctica into any upright structure such as a dead log or tree trunk...... icon_thumleft
I don't think that is stricly true. The nature of a tree fern trunk is fairly unique in that its fibrous srtucture should allow the the roots of the transplanted specimen to penetrated through and become meshed with the old trunk. Also the fibrous nature of the old trunk should hold water to an extent, like a sponge keeping the the roots of the transplanted specimen moist. I can't see it working long term on any other structure.


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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by musa_monkey » Tue May 12, 2009 11:50 am

Dave Brown wrote: If the worst comes to the worst, and it is really a DDA, then maybe you could buy a small one and insert into the top. I don't know if anyone has tried this but it sounds fiesable. Hopefully the roots would grow down into the trunk. Effectively you would be replacing the growing point, but I guess you would have to pay special attention to watering the trunk:wink:
I like that, a cheaper way to replace the height, very lateral thinking icon_thumright
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Dave Brown » Tue May 12, 2009 11:56 am

The only other thing I could think of to make a trunk is a chimney pot, with sphlagnum moss or peat. As the roots grow down, which they seem to much faster than a Dicksonia antarctica grows trunk, it would form a cylindrical core of roots. Maybe a year or two later you would have a 3ft Dicksonia antarctica in place of one without a trunk. While it is doing it you have a decoratrive planter with a small Dicksonia antarctica in the top. Well, that is the theory anyway :wink:
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Libby
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Libby » Tue May 12, 2009 12:30 pm

Dave Brown wrote: If the worst comes to the worst, and it is really a DDA, then maybe you could buy a small one and insert into the top. I don't know if anyone has tried this but it sounds fiesable. Hopefully the roots would grow down into the trunk. Effectively you would be replacing the growing point, but I guess you would have to pay special attention to watering the trunk:wink:
this is wicked Dave :D I have two small ones I bought from Wilko's last year and one would fit nicely in there. I will hold off and keep watering.

At the weekend I did with my mum the'Secret Gardens of Oxton' (Wirral) not really my cup of tea, but going round the corner of one bungalow there planted right up against the bungalow in shade was the biggest Dicksonia antarctica I have seen in ages, loads and loads of fronds it was pretty spectacular!
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by lee-ann » Tue May 12, 2009 8:27 pm

Libby I think I have just lost another one footer :( its the third one in as many years. I think I'll try daves idea saves me digging it up :lol:


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Libby
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by Libby » Tue May 12, 2009 8:34 pm

I had a poke around in the big one and saw one green, frond and the others where brown. In the small one they where all brown so had a poke and some of it came away so will dig abit further tomorrow and see whether there is anything green further down!
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themes
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Re: Dicksonia Antartica

Post by themes » Tue May 12, 2009 8:38 pm

all my Dicksonia antarctica have put atleast one new frond except one Libby. I am in the same quandry. Going to keep pouring buckets of water on it and hope something happens, otherwise I may try one of the suggestions above If i have nothing to lose. take comfort in the fact I am in the same situation :D
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