Platycerium Bifurcatum - Staghorn Fern
This plant gets its name from the antler shaped leaves it develops as it matures. Often attached to walls as a vegetarian alternative to a mounted animal head this plant is unique and quite odd looking in a beautiful way.
Size: Nursery pot 12cm wide Height: 32
Light: As with most ferns, the staghorn would be found naturally under a canopy of trees so indirect bright light is required.
Water: Due to the hard shield leaves covering the plant root ball, it is best to water from below rather directly onto the leaves. Dunk the plant in water for 10-15 minutes (less in winter) and ensure there is adequate drainage. Don’t leave the plant sitting in water continually
Temperature: Normal household temperatures are fine but try to avoid draughts.
Humidity: These ferns prefer high humidity, try adding a pebble tray or humidifier. This plant is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms which naturally have higher levels of humidity.
Feed: A dilute liquid fertiliser may be used monthly during the warmer months as this is the growing season. Do not feed in winter.
Care tips: The base of the plant is covered with round to heart shaped, hard shield leaves. These shield fronds turn brown with age. This is a natural part of the plant development process and not a sign your plant is dying, they should not be removed. The antler leaves develop spores (a brown fuzz), again this part of the natural life cycle of a Staghorn Fern and the spores should be left intact for a healthy plant.
Height & Growth rate: A slow growing plant ultimately reaching a spread of 3 ft.
Origin: New Guinea and Australia.