Taking Care of Your Australian Tree Fern

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An Australian tree fern can look great in any landscape, or add a touch of the tropics to any room. It is actually a species of evergreen, and therefore requires slightly different care than other kinds of ferns. It’s popular to have these ferns indoors since they have a wonderful tropical quality to them. They do get quite large, and are best in rooms that have space for the fern to grow.

Here’s how you can care for yours.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Kathy Bosin notes, "There are a number of Australian tree ferns. This article is referring to Dicksonia antarctica. Don't confuse it with other Australian tree ferns, such as cycads."


Australian tree ferns thrive in environments that are moist. They can survive in dry areas, but you need to take care to ensure the soil is moist at all times. If the soil is allowed to dry or become uneven the fern will start to wither.


Using fertilizer is important to keep it lush and lively. You should use a balanced fertilizer a few times a year.


An Australian tree fern doesn’t do well in cold climates. They can survive a mild winter if placed outdoors. Check the conditions for zones 9 and 10 to find the perfect balance for these ferns.


The Australian tree fern does best in shady areas. They're indigenous to areas that are tropical and tend to grow under canopies of other trees. If your fern is outside, you want to find an area that is mostly shady to plant it. If you are using the fern as an indoor plant, just keep it out of windows that get direct sunlight.

TIP: Kathy advises, "The two most important requirements for cultivating Dicksonia antartica are moist soil and semi-shade."