Tree ferns are staples of tropical gardens, favoring warm, humid conditions where they can thrive alongside such other tropical garden plants as fuchsias, orchids and hibiscus. The two most popular tree ferns are the majestic Australian tree fern, which can grow up to 20 feet in height, and the New Zealand tree fern, a smaller, bushier type. They are remarkably hardy and require just a little care.
Plant your tree fern in well-drained, fertile soil in a shady, protected location, such as near a fence or alongside a building. Prepare the soil by mixing in a low-nutrient compost to encourage root growth.
Water thoroughly, turning the hose toward the top of the tree fern and letting the water run down the woodsy trunk. This lets the plant absorb water through its trunk as well as through its root system. Keep the soil moist to a depth of about 1 inch.
Fertilize periodically (every other month is fine) with organic fish bone and blood fertilizer. Sprinkle a handful around the trunk and canopy and water thoroughly immediately afterward so the fertilizer will be promptly absorbed by the roots.
Regularly trim fronds once they start to droop or turn brown. This will result in a better-looking fern and also stimulate new growth.