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Dicksonia antarctica

Soft tree fern

Reader rating

From 5 ratings

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous tree


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


Dicksonia antarctica
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Plant details

Tree ferns are becoming more and more popular for the garden and D. antarctica one of the hardier varieties. The thick mass of roots form a trunk, which can eventually reach about 6m (20ft) in the wild. The foliage appears in spring from the top of the trunk, unfurling from the centre to open up into large, rich green fronds. Grow in dappled or deep shade in slightly acidic soil. In winter protect the crown by wrapping it up with straw or dead fronds. It has been given an Award of Garden Merit (AGM), which is for plants of outstanding excellence.

Family: Dicksoniaceae

Genus: Dicksonia

Species: antarctica

Plant type: Deciduous tree

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic

Hardiness: Tender

Skill level: Experienced

Reader reviews


3rd year i have had mine and yes mine go brown and die, it's the centre you need to protect, new throngs will start to raise from the crown.


Did as the article suggested to protect from winter frosts. However noticed that the old fronds have gone black. Is this normal or is this a more ominous sign that the plant has been killed by frost?


how do i get throngs large at the moment they are about foot long


I bought a tree fern in May this year at the moment it is still in the pot. When is the best time to plant it in the garden and what is the best position?

Maureen Sheron

My tree fern is well over 10 years old and has had lush long fronds every year but last year the fronds were very small, couple of feet if that. Has anyone got any ideas why??

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