tree ferns grow very slowly. They typically grow about one inch per year (2.5cm). This is why it’s best to buy the biggest you can afford. If you are very young then maybe buy a small fern, but if you are ‘middle aged’ then you are not going to live long enough to see it at a decent height!
Tree ferns can stay outside all year in the UK but they need protection to survive. It’s best to take small tree ferns to a frost free shelter but once they get too big to store then leave them in the ground but wrap the trunk and growing tip at the top. Fleece and hessian sacking and straw are all good insulators but it’s a good idea to cover the whole set up with a waterproof outer layer as the growing point can rot if it stays wet overwinter
You should not cut the leaves off of a tree fern unless they are totally brown. Even then it is thought they the old leaves help to keep the growing point open for new fronds to appear and they should be left on to eventually fall off of their own accord
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