Making Australia Tree Ferns Cold-Hardy
Q: I read your article about Australian tree ferns a few weeks ago and thought I’d share my experience. I purchased one 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. I left it outdoors but it didn’t survive the cold. Luckily I was able to find another one this spring. I plan to move it indoors when the temperatures start to cool in the fall, then move it outdoors again in spring. Is there a way to make it more cold-hardy?
A: Growing plants where they’re not supposed to grow is a hobby for some gardeners and an obsession for others. As a result of their research and hard work, we have figs growing in Chicago, strawberries In Saskatchewan, and bananas in Bainbridge. Most of the time, pushing hardiness zones is done by discovering and perfecting microclimates around your house. but sometimes plants can be genetically bred to resist cold damage.