If you’re in the UK it’s not that easy to propagate tree ferns unless you really can provide ideal conditions and humidity. 

How do you propagate tree ferns?

How do you propagate tree ferns?

Tree ferns such as the impressive Dicksonia Antarctica generally propagate through the spores that will grow on the back side / under side of the tree fern fronds. However, in the case of the Dicksonia Antarctica it generally doesn’t produce spores until it is at least 20 years old. So the more common approach to propagating a tree fern like this is via the plantlets that grow at the base of the rhizomes. You can remove these from the ground, ideally dip in growing hormone and then place them on a bed of moist warm soil, and keep humidity and warmth constant. It will take quite a while, often a good year for the roots to fill a small pot. 

It is possible to propagate from the spores of an older tree fern, much in the same way as the plantlets. Place on a bed of warm and moist soil, and keep moist and warm for quite a while! 

There is the dark art of cutting a tree fern into chunks to ‘propagate it’ but I don’t advise this. We have an article about this coming up in the future. This can work well with Dicksonia Antarctica, but certainly won’t work for a tree fern such as Cyathea. 

One method from a British enthusiast was to sow the spores in August, and then when they start growing, placing them under the parent plant, but making sure to bring back indoors somewhere warm before the frosts arrive. He suggested growing them on in 1L pots, and placing them in freezer bags so you can control moisture levels. I have personally not done this, but sounds like it would be a fun way to try! 

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Last Modified: September 6, 2022