"I'm sure not a lot of people know this"

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"I'm sure not a lot of people know this"

Post by nicebutdim » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:49 am

I recently bought some small tree ferns from Cornwall and was surprised to read on the care sheet that a major cause of deaths in winter is not the cold but a lack of water at the roots,not the top obviously.Make sure they are regularly watered.Maybe this is common knowledge ,if so I should get out more

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Re: "I'm sure not a lot of people know this"

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:32 pm

That may well be the case for potted Tree ferns put in a greenhouse, or under the eaves, and left to get on with it over winter. All evergreens are growing for 12 months of the year, but most exotics slow to a crawl over winter and can be kept much drier, in fact many prefer to be drier. Tree ferns don't have a dry season as such naturally, as far as I am aware, so will prefer to be moist even over winter.

If planted out the cold may be more of a problem than drought for small Treeferns in winter in the uk.
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Re: "I'm sure not a lot of people know this"

Post by RogerBacardy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:41 pm

Winter drought can be a problem if the ground is frozen solid. That's why conifers have pine leaves, to slow down evapotranspiration as the ground is so cold that they can't access the water, similar to the reason why we have so many deciduous trees in England.

But as Dave says, if the ground is frozen solid, the fern is probably at greater risk from death due to the cold than drought.

So I'd only water one if it was in a pot and close to the house or somewhere sheltered. :)

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Re: "I'm sure not a lot of people know this"

Post by musa_monkey » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:24 pm

Interesting, never really gave it any thought as all my Dicksonia antarctica's are outside over winter. i do have a couple of small Cyathea Cooperi which will over winter in the greenhouse so shall keep an eye on them icon_thumright

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