Tree ferns

Botanical name: Dicksonia, Cyathea

Common name: Tree fern, soft tree fern

For a touch of rainforest in your garden, try growing tree ferns. Suitable for most sheltered regions of the UK, they offer huge fronds of filigree foliage at the top of a rough-textured robust trunk. Grow them in the open garden or in containers on a shady patio.


Their giant fronds can reach 1.8m in length are made up of classic fern leaflets. The trunks of tree ferns are rough, woody and fibrous.


A sheltered position in a soil rich in organic matter in part-shade. A north or northeast facing position is ideal. Tree ferns grow well in neutral to slightly acidic soils. They love humidity in summer, so keeping their trunk and crown well watered is important.


Avoid planting tree ferns in windy areas or where the temperature may drop below -5°C. They will not thrive if their trunks or crowns dry out in summer.

Did you know?

Tree ferns are not true trees. Their trunks are made up of packed roots and rhizomes, giving them great stablility. They can grow to 5m in their native home of New Zealand.

Growing guide

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