Staghorn Fern

By November 16, 2020Blog Post
Blog Post
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You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Staghorn Fern is named after its regal foliage. Light green and somewhat fuzzy near the base of the plant, this fern can grow to enormous sizes in its natural habitat. The leaves on a fern are called “Fronds.” The upper fronds of the Staghorn Fern are large and resemble antlers (hence the name!). The lower fronds wrapping near the base of the plant carry fuzzy spores. Take care not remove these lower fronds or their fuzz. The lower part of the plant is covered by fronds referred to as “Shield Fronds” which wrap around the base of the plant and serve as protection and gather up nutrients to feed the plant. Don’t worry if your Shield Frond turns brown and don’t remove the Shield Frond, green or brown.

Rather than growing in soil, these plants are Epiphytic and grow on other plants or trees in their natural environment. Like mushrooms, epiphytic plants have spores that they release into the air. These spores then find homes on other plants and trees and develop into new plants. Staghorn Fern, or Platycerium bifurcatum, can be placed in soil if it’s very well draining, but ultimately mounting a Staghorn Fern keeps it closest to its natural state, and also helps avoid overwatering. To water this member of the Polypodiaceae family, either mist the plant with water on top and underneath, or soak in a basin of water, or allow a shower head to run over the plant. The key is to make sure the roots are getting saturated. Water Staghorn Fernonce a week during the Summer, and every 3-4 weeks during Winter. Staghorn Fern does prefer humidity, so keep it in a bathroom that is well lit (it needs bright, indirect light), or use a humidifier to add moisture.

Staghorn Fern is pet friendly, and is said to help clean the air. It prefers temperatures between 50 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A stunning addition to any plant collection, Staghorn Fern is a beautiful plant that can be finicky. For that reason, we rate Staghorn Fern as an intermediate plant for Plant Parents.

Happy Plant Parenting!


Author Nicks

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