Staghorn Fern New BohemiansEver since Tuesday's This Just In post, with all those mounted epiphytes, we've had staghorn ferns on the brain. Definitely one of the more dramatic plants, especially when they're mounted, staghorns really are plants-as-art. As epiphytes, staghorns get moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and even debris that falls on/around them, rather than from soil/fertilizer-so cool, right? Outdoors, staghorns often grow on the sides of trees, but as houseplants they can can be mounted to a board, displayed in an old wire stand, or even hung kokedama style!

Staghorn Fern Danae Horst

GET THE GREEN: Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum+ 18 other species )

WATER: Water regularly, but infrequently- let it dry out between waterings. Water it by submerging the whole root ball in a bucket or bathtub for 15 minutes weekly and letting it drip dry before rehanging. Mist leaves regularly between waterings, unless it is humid.

SUNLIGHT: Bright to medium indirect light.

PLACEMENT: Usually mounted on a piece of wood or cork and hung on the wall, or set in the crook of a tree. These can also be kept in clay pots, where their spores may start growing on the outside of the pot.

EXTRA CREDIT: Staghorns prefer humidity and temperatures 60°F- 75°F (15°C-24°C), so take it outside only when the temperature is right and the humidity is high (unless you live somewhere staghorns grow in the wild naturally). With proper care, they can be very long-lived. Note that they get heavy when wet, so mount well with strong hardware.

WORD OF CAUTION: Staghorns are SAFE for cats, dogs, and horses- yay!

Photo Credit: 1) Mattie Kannard & Dennis Smith's home by Dabito, from The New Bohemians.  2) Danae Horst

Plant-o-Pedia excerpt from The New Bohemians with thanks to Stephanie Bartron.


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