Skip to content
Refine search
Plant type Natives, Fern, Subtropicals, Trees
Plant Uses

Best uses

An evergreen tree fern with iconic silver-green fronds. Great as a specimen or understory tree in native and mixed plantings. Plant with other ferns to enhance subtropical and woodland gardens.

Physical characteristics

Slow-growing, slender evergreen tree fern that can grow up to 12m in height.

Flowers and foliage

Bright green fronds up to 4m, with distinctive silver undersides.

Preferred site

Prefers moist, sheltered conditions but will tolerate full sun and dry conditions once established. Grows best in well-drained soil.

Preparation for planting

Prepare the planting site when soil is moist and easily worked, such as after the first rains in spring and autumn. Remove all weeds and incorporate bark, compost or other organic material. Before planting, ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball, press in and water once planted. Plant with some general slow-release fertiliser and then every spring, apply an organic fertiliser (such as blood and bone) at a handful per square metre.

Maintenance tips

Apply mulch annually to discourage weed growth and help maintain moisture. The first summer and autumn after planting are critical for young plants, so water thoroughly during dry periods. When grown in exposed conditions, the fronds can become windburnt. Requires no major maintenance except the removal of unsightly old fronds.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

Attracts invertebrates for birds like pīwakawaka to eat, and creates habitats for birds.

Pests and diseases

No major pests and diseases issues.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Native Identification Trail