These hardy, slow-growing tree ferns from the Southern Hemisphere are easy to transplant and establish. Arguably the most beautiful of the tree ferns, they produce long, lacy, arching fronds. Caring for them isn't difficult. They need high humidity, so wet down the trunks on dry summer and autumn days. Overhead watering is preferred. Give them moist, well-drained soil rich in humus; shield them from drying winds. Every spring, spread a few inches of organic fertilizer, such as garden compost or composted cow manure, around the base. Don't trim off the old fronds until new ones emerge. Beyond hardiness range, grow in containers.
D. antarctica. TASMANIAN TREE FERN. Native to southeastern Australia, Tasmania. Hardiest of tree ferns; well-established plants tolerate 20F. Thick, red-brown, fuzzy trunk grows slowly to 15 ft. From top of trunk grow many arching, 3- to 6-ft. fronds; mature fronds are more nely cut than those of Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi).
D. squarrosa. Native to New Zealand. Slender, dark trunk grows slowly to 20 ft. tall. Flat crown of 8-ft.-long, stiff, leathery fronds. Much less frequently grown than D. antarctica.