Austrailian Fern /Heatwave

firefightrsflameApril 29, 2007

Hi I'm new to this board and glad I found it!

We just did our back yard landscape in tropicals last week.

Well, this week we are going through an outrageous heatwave (90's already) and my Austrailian Fern looks like it's shriveling up fast.

Will it be alright? We have it watered on a watering system but just want to know it will come back!



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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Is it an Australian Tree fern? I used to volunteer at a conservatory, and they would take the hose and spray down the center of the plant, like a heavy mist, at least once or twice a day. And that was indoors! Try that for a while and see if it helps.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Yes, I believe it's a tree fern.

I woudn't be able to bring it indoors as it's already planted in the back.

I will try misting it. The weather is supposed to cool back down this week, so I hope that helps, too.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 12:35PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

This tree fern will always suffer if exposed to too much sun, hot winds and high temps in combination. You can plant these in full sun if you are nearer to the beaches and the air is moister/cooler. Even if you do get this to outgrow the scorched leaves it is suffering from now, it will always get them if you get regular Santa Ana winds and it is too hot/windy. It may be best to relocate them to where it is more protected from wind and full hot blasting sun, and replace with another similar character plant that can take the sun, wind and heat. Perhaps a Giant Bird of Paradise? Or a Sago Palm?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:47PM
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prettyphysicslady(8B/N. Houston)

We grow the Australian Tree Ferns down here in Houston so the heat can't be too much of a problem.

I have two planted in shady areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: More information on australian tree ferns

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:29PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It is a bit different in southern California than Houston, where it is typically pretty humid when hot. In most of southern California, the Australian Tree Fern is ubiquitous, but always looks best where it is not blasted by hot dry air or baked in full hot sun. It can take full sun if well watered, but tends to look bleached out as compared to lusher growth of more protected/shaded plants. It won't take hot drying winds on a regular basis, nor do well if not well watered during heat waves, and sudden heat above the norm can even burn foliage on plants that are normally not affected.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:31PM
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Well, I am glad I received this bit of info from you all, because I was just coming here to post about something my husband said today about the tree fern that I think may be a bit wrong. But I want to know what you all say.

We do have the tree fern planted along our back wall (full sun). I do see new stalks coming through, so hopefully the fern is recovering quickly.

I questioned him today about not having a drip line set up to the fern. He has a tall riser instead that sprays over the fern. When I asked why not a drip, he said that he read they get their moisture from the stalks. That they draw moisture in from their leaves.

I understand that, but don't they still need watering at their base? Especially here in Southern CA, especially with the heat of summer calling upon us?

FYI- in our tropical plants, we have the tree ferns, calla lily, phylodendron, bird of paradise (not the giant), tropic canna, flax and an orange vine flower I don't know the name of. So, I believe that all these require different types of watering. Husband knows this, I don't! However, I know I don't want to lose my tree fern! - Terra

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:04AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

A spray head wetting the trunk and foliage is also going to wet the ground and roots, unless it is only on for a minute or so. If you are not within 10 miles of the coast, I still think putting a Cyathea cooperi in full sun is a big mistake for longterm health of the tree fern.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 6:06PM
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Points well taken. I let hubby read all this and we are planning on talking to the nursery where we purchased the ferns from to find out what we can do. We are sad because the nursery knew our plans, know where we live, etc and never mentioned any problems to us about planting. Otherwise, I would've passed on it even though I love the plants.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:51AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

try moving it adjacent to an east facing wall, or nestling it between an east facing wall and a south facing wall if at all possible. this will allow the tree fern to recieve morning sun and by midday, when the day is hottest, it will already be partially or competely shaded, depending on the height of the wall (house). This is the way i grow my tree fern here in the smack center of the central valley and, despite the 90 degree weather we've been having since mid-april, it has a bright lime green coloring and the fronds are growing larger and larger (about 5 feet long now). thats my two cents.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:29AM
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I wish I could but the house faces north/south. So, the back wall is facing north.

We jimmied up a makeshift shade to go over the two ferns whenever the heat starts coming back again.

For now, they seem to be somewhat recovering which I am so thrilled about. The base growth coming in is green! So, we're doing our best to keep it that way!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 5:14PM
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The roots of tree ferns are on their trunks - the full length of it. You need to water the full trunk, from the top down.

Ditto what has been said re full sun.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 4:51PM
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