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How to Grow Tree Ferns in Pots

Updated February 21, 2017

Ferns are some of the oldest kinds of plants in the world, older than seed-bearing plants by millions of years. Instead of growing from seed, ferns, including tree ferns, propagate by spores. Like most ferns, tree ferns hail from areas of the world with damp, rainforest-like conditions, including Australia and Hawaii. Although, when grown in their natural habitats, some tree ferns grow to 45 feet in height, smaller tree ferns can be grown in containers for your home or garden.

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  1. Choose a large container for your tree fern. The container should be at least 5 gallons in size with four to eight drainage holes in the bottom of it.

  2. Fill the pot with a mixture of three parts peat moss and one part sand, according to the University of Florida. Combine the sand and peat moss well.

  3. Dig a hole in the mixture as deep as the tree fern's root ball and twice as wide. Place the tree fern into the hole and fill the hole with the mixture. Pat the mixture down firmly.

  4. Water the tree fern well. Do not allow the soil in the tree fern's container to dry out. It should be kept constantly moist. Water the tree fern until water runs from the container's drainage holes. If you keep your tree fern indoors, spray it with water four to five times a day for two to three minutes to keep the humidity around it high.

  5. Place the tree fern near a window where it will receive bright indirect light or in a partially shaded area of your garden. Maintain the temperature between 15.6 and 21.1 degrees Celsius during the day and about 10 degrees colder at night.

  6. Fertilise your tree fern once a month from April to September. Dilute 2 tbsp of houseplant fertiliser in 1 cup of water and give it to your tree fern. Water the tree fern well after every application.

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Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Houseplant fertiliser
  • Spray bottle

About the Author

Hollan Johnson

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.

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