All about Australian Tree Fern
Cyanthea Cooperi, more commonly known as Australian Tree fern, can make for a beautiful addition to your landscape. Despite its name, the Australian fern does not stand true to its name. Why do you ask? Well, it is actually more of a tree than a fern because of its large size.
Typically, ferns have a mature height of not more than 18 inches, but Cyanthea Cooperi is different. It grows up to 25 feet or taller in its original location, Australia. As a houseplant, though, Australian ferns can grow up to 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
Zone 10 works best for this evergreen plant, but you might need to place it in a container in Zone 98. This is because you will need to bring your outdoor plant indoors during colder months.
The tropical plant looks unique, and while it can thrive in partially shady areas, it is in no way a low-maintenance plant. Let’s have a look at the care requirements for the Australian tree fern.
Cyathea Cooperi prefers shady spots, but it can also thrive in and tolerate partially sunny and fully sunny locations. However, you will need to increase its watering cadence as you increase the amount of sunlight it gets on a daily basis.
Australian ferns do well in a variety of soils, including loam, sand, and clay. However, it grows healthier in a moist, rich, and loamy soil mixture. The potting medium should have good draining quality with neutral to acidic pH levels. To add more nutrients to the soil, add some mulch around your plant.
This plant is not at all drought-tolerant and will start showing signs of unhealthiness immediately. So, set your watering schedule in a way that the soil of your Cyathea Cooperi remains moist at all times. It needs high levels of moisture and humidity, so watering it weekly and more frequently in dryer weather conditions should work. However, you should only water from the trunk, not the crown.
Australian tree fern requires monthly feeding if you’re using a controlled-release fertilizer. In case of weak liquid fertilizers, you might want to feed your plant every two weeks. Mature and large plants may require more frequent feedings.
Pests and Diseases
Most Cyathea Cooperi plants are not prone to any major pests and diseases. But infestations that you should look out for include occasional mealybugs and mites. In case of infestation, use water spraying or treat the plant using insecticides or neem oil.
The Australian fern is a fast-growing plant, meaning it can expand in a matter of a few years only. To avoid your plant from getting out of control, make sure you don’t skip pruning. It is best to completely cut the tree down to ground level. This will allow the growth of new sprouts at the crown. You can also choose to dig out the fern and replace it with a new one if needed.
Spring season is the best time to propagate your Australian tree fern. You can use the offshoots that grow at the base of the plant. Use a sharp spade to sever an offshoot and bring it to a size of about 4 inches. Place the offshoots in a lightly moist potting medium in a way that they stand upright.
When planting a Cyathea Cooperi, keep in mind that it requires a spacious area to grow and expand. In case you are growing your plant indoors in a container, you will need to repot it in a larger one once every year. Make sure you use fresh soil for repotting.