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Staghorn Plant

Staghorn ferns are like a living work of art. stunning. Mount it, wrap it, hang it on the wall, they are stunning. 

Plants will vary. We will do our best to ensure the plant ordered matches the image of the Plant.

  • LIGHT: Thrives in bright, indirect or diffused light, though they must be protected from the harsh rays of the direct sun. Not suited for intense, direct sun. Put staghorn ferns in the brightest space in their home where, again, the plant will not take direct sun.
  • WATER: Misting your staghorn fern -use a spray-bottle that emits a fine, ambient mist.Mist the entire plant, focusing on the underside of the antler fronds and the shield fronds.
  • Soak your staghorn fern in a sink or basin of water for 10-20 minutes, or until the roots are fully saturated. Alternately, hold the fern so the roots are fully submerged until fully saturated (1-2 minutes).
  • Alternately, place the plaque in a sink or bathtub tap, and allow room-temperature water to run through the root ball until it is saturated. Allow your plant to drip dry before re-hanging.
  • Water once per week in dry, hot times of year, and once every two to three weeks during cooler months. 
  • Less light or heat = less watering. Remember - these plants don’t tolerate overwatering. During the winter, you’ll likely need to cut back on watering.If your plant is directly over a heating duct or near a fireplace, that will dry your plant more quickly.
  • If the antler fronds begin to brown or blacken at the base, this is a sign of over-watering. Reduce watering to once monthly until plant shows sign of recovery
  • If the antler fronds begin to brown at the tips or wilt, this is a sign of under-watering. Increase watering as needed.

Anatomy of a Staghorn Fern

Though you can find young staghorn ferns sold in pots, mature plants need to be mounted to a board or hung in a hanging basket. Staghorn ferns are epiphytic plants, which means that in they grow on other plants or trees in their natural growing environments.

One of the reasons that staghorn fern care seems daunting is that the plant’s anatomy differs from that of most other common houseplants. ferns have neither; rather, they release microscopic spores into the air (a bit like mushrooms and mosses), which eventually become new plants.

Fern leaves are actually called fronds, and staghorn ferns have two types. The first, and most prominent, is the “antler” frond - these are the large, bifurcated leaves that shoot out of the center of the plant, and from which staghorn ferns get their names, since they resemble the antlers of deer or moose. Spores develop on the lower these fronds, and look a bit like brown fuzz -- don’t remove the spores! This is a no-no in staghorn fern care.

The second type of staghorn fern frond is called the shield frond. These are the round, hard plate-like leaves that surround the base of the plant. Their function is to protect the plant roots, and take up water and nutrients. These fronds start out green, but eventually turn brown and dry up. This is a totally normal part of the staghorn fern life-cycle -- in fact, this is one of the most common misconceptions in staghorn fern care. A brown shield frond does not mean your staghorn fern is dying, and dried shield fronds should never be removed!

The final part of the staghorn fern is the root ball. Since stags are epiphytes, their root systems are fairly minimal, and help the plant attach to its home. Because the roots are so minimal, staghorn ferns need extensive drainage and are particularly susceptible to root rot.


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