Plant Highlight ‐ Ferns

Episode: 4
Title: Plant Highlight ‐ Ferns
Broadcast: March 23, 2019
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane

Tree ferns are amongst the oldest plant life on earth and common right across Australia. They can be very easy to grown if you pick the right species suitable to your climate.

  • Cyathea Australis, commonly known as the Rough Tree Fern, is native to the southern areas of Australia and is only found in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a tall growing fern with a long slender trunk and large crown of fronds.
  • The Cyathea is a fast-growing fern and can go from pot size to a few metres tall within a matter of years, so it’s perfect for a garden needing quick results. At full height, they can stand up to 6m.
  • Dicksonia Antarctica, or the Soft or Man Tree Fern, is also a tall but very slow growing semi-evergreen fern, more commonly found in eastern parts of the country. At mature height, they will reach approximately 4.5m.
  • Ferns need to be planted in a very moist spot, in good rich soil, sheltered and shaded by trees. A good mulch will help keep the moisture in. Some cooler climates will have more success in planting them in full sun, but the soil must stay moist.
  • Interestingly, ferns don’t have seeds. At certain times of year, brown capsules will form underneath the fronds containing large numbers of tiny spores. These spores ripen and the plant then releases them into the air, germinating once they fall to the ground.

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