Cibotium–commonly called Hawaiian tree fern–is the most common fern found in its native Hawaii. It grows slowly to 20 feet tall with a crown that spreads to 15 feet wide. It has arching, finely divided fronds from 3 to 9 feet long. The fronds are medium green above and light beneath. Silky fawn-colored wool covers the leaf bases.
Where not hardy, Cibotium can be grown in a warm greenhouse. It can be grown as a specimen plant in subtropical and tropical gardens.
Cibotium is a genus of about 10 species of evergreen tree ferns.
Get to Know Cibotium
- Plant type: Fern
- Growing zones and range: Zones 10-15
- Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 10
- Height and width: 6 to 10 feet (2-6m) tall and 10 to 12 feet (3-4m) wide
- Foliage: Very large, finely divide, ovate to triangular fronds
- Uses: Specimen plant, containter plant
- Common name: Hawaiian tree fern, Hapu’u, pulu
- Botanical name: Cibotium
- Family name: Dicksoniaceae
- Origin: Tropical to warm temperate regions
Where to Plant Cibotium
- Light outdoors: Provide bright filtered light and moderate humidity.
- Soil outdoors: Grow Cibotium in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil.
- Light indoors: Provide bright filtered light and moderate humidity.
- Soil indoors: Grow Cibotium in 1 part each of loan, medium-grade bark, and charcoal; 2 parts sharp sand, and 3 parts coarse leaf mold.
When to Plant Cibotium
- Set Cibotium outdoors in spring.
Planting and Spacing Cibotium
- Space Cibotium 10 to 12 feet (3-4m) apart.
How to Water and Feed Cibotium
- Water Cibotium freely. Water sparingly in winter.
- Fertilize Cibotium with a high-nitrogen fertilizer monthly.
- Top-dress or pot on Cibotium in spring.
- If Cibotium outgrows its site, it can be reduced in height by air-layering the upper part of the rhizome.
Cibotium Pests and Diseases
- Cibotium is occasionally affected by leaf spots.
- Sow spores at 70℉ (21℃) when ripe.
Cibotium Varieties to Grow
- Cibotium glaucum, Hawaiian tree fern. Tree fern with an erect stem grows 6 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide; ovate-triangular mid-green fronds to 10 feet long; stem tips and bases of frond stalks are covered wtih golden hairs.
- C. regale. Tree fern wither erect stesm corwned with ovate-triangular yellowish green fronds; grows 10 to 25 feet tall and 12 feet wide.