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Tree ferns in pots

Could you let me know if there are any native tree ferns I could grow in a container? How big would the container need to be?


New Zealand has two genera of tree ferns, Dicksonia (including wheki) and Cyathea (including ponga). You could grow most of the native tree ferns in containers in their early stages, but I am assuming you want to grow one for a decent period of time. Most of the tree ferns end up enormous and have huge fronds.

However, you could get away with growing a species of Dicksonia for quite some time in a relatively small tub. I recommend either Dicksonia squarrosa (wheki) or Dicksonia fibrosa (wheki-ponga). Both of these require peaty, damp soil with summer watering, semi-shade at least to start with, and protection from wind. Both species will eventually reach 7 metres in height, but this will take some time. I suggest a large container of at least a metre in diameter to start with, and pot on as needed. They are usually widely available from most garden centres.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
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