Limp Cyathea cooperi

clusty1August 13, 2014

Hello guys,

My latest addition, the australian tree fern, is giving me a headaches lately.
I bought it last Saturday it was gorgeous.
Two days later the soil seemed dry so I gave it a watering in the shower ( to water both fern and dirt).
After two more days the growing fronds are all limp.

My apartment is at 85F during the peak of the day and the fern is placed in a spot that gets about 1h of direct sun just as the sun sets down.

Disclaimer: I have a ton of plants and can usually figure out on the fly if something is wrong and correct for. At this rate, the fern will be dead within the week.

Any idea what is going on here?
Too much or too little watering?

This post was edited by clusty on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 7:51

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Indoors air is usually quite dry and quite still. Having the plant in the direct sun behind glass is a bit harsh for it. And obviously there's not enough water. Put simply, the water in a plant 'inflates" the cells and causes rigidity (or technically speaking turgidity). Particularly in the new growth this keeps the plant upright. With a shortage of water the cells become deflated and sag. Provided you've got good drainage you need to increase the watering.

By the way, there's more than a dozen "Australian Treeferns", Cyathea cooperi is just one of them.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:25PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I've found them very difficult to grow in a pot particularly in the house . if you haven't repotted ,probably low humidity and not enough water . Is it the new fronds that are wilting?? i find that I must water the entire plant or new or parts of new fronds won't unfurl.
I now grow them outdoors in a specific bed and they are doing well there Good luck gary

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:18AM
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It is clearly a Cyathea cooperi, as label says.
Drenching it some more in the shower seems to solved the problem.
This plant is a primo candidate for me to overwater now that I saw how thirsty it was :)

Does it get any easier maintaining it once it gets bigger ?
I'd imagine it stores more water.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:03AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I find they need even more water as they grow. They also get very large very fast lol Mine went from under a foot to over 8 feet accross in a bit over a year yet still has less than s foot of trunk!! gary

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:59AM
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I can start noticing how fast it is growing.
Second "leaf" is already starting to unfurl. It did not even exist 2 weeks ago when I bought it.

Seems like I need to give it a serious drench in the shower about every 3 days. Before the soil seems dry on the top even.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 8:15PM
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IF IT IS DRYING OUT VERY QUICK IT PROBABLY NEEDS TO GO INTO A BIGGER POT, THEY ARE A very vigorous grower and roots soon fill a pot there soon use up what moisture in the potting mix. we grow them in the ground here in aust, growing indoors I would suggest also a self watering pot, or some type of reservoir for it. Denise

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 6:51PM
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