London (change)
Today 11°C / 4°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 6°C
7 messages
10/12/2013 at 13:06

Hi All,


I just planted two beautiful tree ferns this summer. They still looking green and in full leaf. I am worried to leave them for too long without protection but in the other hand it doesn't seem too cold yet either.


I will go away for a few weeks and not sure what shall i do and when is the rigth temperature to cover them

Any advice will be great


Many Thanks



10/12/2013 at 13:13

I would pack the centre with straw, fold the leaves over and put a fleece bag over the lot. I will guarantee if you go away, it will freeze solid.

10/12/2013 at 14:35

Are they in pots or in the ground? Also, where in the UK are you based and how big are the Dicksonia?

10/12/2013 at 17:26

Agree with fidget. Unless you live in the tropical South I would protect them as she says, and i would do it now. We are bound to get really cold weather soon.

10/12/2013 at 18:07

Tree ferns cover a large amount of possible ferns, most of whom are not that hardy. The hardiest is Dicksonia antarctica. The fronds on those are hardy till -3C and the growing point until -5/-8C depending on location and overhead cover.  Unless there is sustained freezing for days then there is no need to fleece a old blanket is all that is really needed to cover the growth point.

Given that the current mild weather is forecast to stay until at least the end of next week, I would not cut off green fronds for the sake of some uninformed commentators on an online forum. Straw only works by getting it thick enough to rot down and thus release heat. It also attracts vermin and pests to the growing point. It would be better to make a cage using chicken wire and stuffing that with straw. I would only do that if 2010 type of weather was forecast as it is overkill.

It is crucial to keep the tree fern damp all year round. More die of drying out than cold weather.

10/12/2013 at 18:22

As these are the experts , you could have a look on these websites.

 RHS advice is to err on the side of caution.

Hackney is likely to have a fairly mild microclimate, but you never know.

10/12/2013 at 18:40

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7 messages