Staghorn Fern Plant For Homes

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People Love The Staghorn Fern Plant

The Staghorn fern plant or Platycerium is a good find for gardeners. It’s an uncommon and ornamental epiphyte that amateur and expert horticulturists want. Because of its rarity in some regions, it can be more expensive than other houseplants. Native to Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and Australia, this tropical air plant looks interesting. Also called Elkhorn ferns, these are decorative for their antler-shaped foliage. In many places, people consider them low-maintenance and indoor plants. Thus, since it has unique features and is easy to care for, many grow it in their homes.
They may be gorgeous plants to own, but they will only become and stay attractive with proper care. In this article, we’re going to discuss specifics about this houseplant. Included are details to explain it and ways to take care of it. So read on to have a healthy and happy Platycerium plant!


Describing The Staghorn Fern Plant

Because it’s an epiphyte, the Elkhorn plant lives on other plants. In the open, it attaches itself to trees. But it doesn’t mean it steals moisture, sunlight, and nutrients. The host has no issue since it has commensalism with the plant. By nature, a Platycerium plant gets what it needs from the air, collected water, and fallen debris. It has divided, hard, and plate-like leaves called fronds for that. On them, the fern has antler-like fronds for foliar feeding. Also, it includes the shield or basal fronds near the roots. These structures have a dust-like coating that gives a textured feel. They collect moisture and help with sunlight protection. So it has several parts that give it a peculiar look and are functional.
Many people mount a mature plant on wood to hang it later. Others put it in a pot for a while to grow. Either way, it’s possible to raise these plants indoors. They can only manage to thrive outdoors best in areas where they are native. While inside and as grown plants, folks use them to put herbaceous antlers on the walls. After about six months, we can already move them from a pot to a tree or wooden plank. One often grows about three feet across, but it takes a while to mature. Thus, due to its slow growth rate, it serves as an indoor companion that requires tending.
Staghorn fern plant
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Staghorn Fern Plant Requirements

It develops at a slow pace yet lives for decades with proper care. If you’re going to take care of it, prepare to meet its few demands as a herbaceous companion. This indoor Platycerium plant requires a well-ventilated and humid area. It can manage in the living room and bathroom areas because it prefers airy and wet places. Watering is once weekly during the warmer months. Hydrate it less or once every 2 to 3 weeks when it gets cold. Soak the ball root until it becomes saturated and leave it to dry. But you can also spray the foliage since the fronds absorb water. It shows that it’s convenient to water at any time of the year.
Place it near a window to get about 6 hours of dappled, diffused, or indirect yet beaming sunlight. It is to feed it for better growth and a healthy plant. So, when you can keep providing medium light and wetness, you’re set to have this as a part of your home. Be aware of its temperature requirements too. 55 to 75 Fahrenheit or 13 to 24 Celcius makes it manage or grow well. It cannot withstand extreme hotness or coldness. Still, its nutrition matters a lot. Give it balanced and water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing season. It only needs plant food every other month when it’s dormant or slow-moving. Hence, it requires specific conditions but will grow well once these are present.
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Propagating The Staghorn Fern Plant

Even if it’s natural for this plant to grow on trees as an epiphyte, it’s possible to raise it from a pot. To do this, you must secure the spores on mature Elkhorn ferns. It’s easy to identify them because they look like brown dirt on the fronds. Scrape the spores off the fronds and put them on paper for planting. Gardeners often cut fronds that have them and keep them in a paper bag to dry. Once ready, they use a knife to remove the microscopic and propagative bodies. This part isn’t challenging at all. Yet it requires competence in identifying and gathering spores.
Once you have a container, use organic soil instead of dirt with minerals for your medium. Try to combine bark chips or perlite and peat for your potting mix and flatten it. Spread the spores on the surface and cover the soil medium with plastic to keep the moisture in. The reason for it is that this plant needs to stay moist, but it has to have well-draining soil. After finishing everything, wait for germination to happen. It often takes 3 to 6 months to occur. Hence, being skillful and patient in planting is crucial for Platycerium propagation.
Staghorn fern plant
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Mounting The Staghorn Fern Plant

Gardeners can cater to this epiphyte by using pinewood. The material is cheaper compared to other mounting surface objects. It’s already enough to support the weight of a hanging Platycerium plant. Yet those who wish to put the Elkwood fern outdoors may want to choose hardwood planks. They are way more durable and long-lasting. Either way, secure the fern with a wire or strong monofilament line to prevent it from falling. Remember to use sphagnum moss as your planting media since the Elkhorn plant has a small root ball. It helps the plant gather nutrients through the roots, even if its fronds are there. So it may take some practice before you get these things perfect.
Be mindful of the fronds when you secure the root ball. Think about the antler frond and shield frond. Set the orientation of your plant but make it so that the fronds grow right too. Mount your whole Staghorn fern near where your windows are for it to get some light. Let it face well-lit areas with bright and indirect sunlight to thrive. Also, put it where it’s humid for it to stay hydrated.

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Benefits Of Having The Elkhorn Fern

The Staghorn fern plant doesn’t show flowers, but its entirety looks gorgeous. We can say that it has enough worthy features to display. They can improve the home design by adding colors and shapes to the walls and other parts of a house. As long as you can provide its requirements, it can provide green hues and unusual sculptures. Hence, this plant can start conversations and make a homeowner proud. Aside from being decorative, it also lets out oxygen and purifies the air. Mounted Elkhorn ferns absorb toxic gases through their fronds and roots. Its presence produces breathable air and prevents health conditions like allergies.
Since it’s an air plant, it saves space as an ornamental piece. Even if it grows about 3 feet long and wide, it isn’t spacious. You can put it on walls, and the germinating spores are tiny. Because it traps dust, nutrients, and moisture, it’s a helpful garden companion indoors. While it does the work of cleaning your home, it sustains itself. Plus, it needs misting from time to time which equates to doing physical activities. So this plant is a space-saver, somehow self-sustaining, and helps keep a person active. It’s perfect indoors because it is not poisonous to humans and pets like cats and dogs.


More Platycerium Plant Care Tips

When taking care of a Staghorn fern plant, it pays to be extra careful sometimes. Gardening mistakes happen, yet some mishaps can be costly. So, when tending to it, you must keep an eye out for certain things. Consider its location, watering, and propagation. Direct and harsh sunlight can turn its fronds brown. It is why you must limit and be mindful of its light exposure. Watering often involves getting plants soaked for 20 minutes or so. But don’t overwater since this can cause root rotting. Remember that a mature Elkhorn plant can become drought-tolerant. To propagate it, you don’t have to start from spores if it’s too difficult for you. Propagation by dividing a plant into sections is also an option.
Mounting it on the wall makes it impossible for most pets to access it. But pests like mealybugs and scale insects may reach and suck the sap from it. Try to get rid of these creatures once spotted by wiping them away. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol works fine for this task.


In Conclusion

Having a Staghorn fern plant is a good choice if you’re searching for a garden companion. This air plant has an unusual design but makes for an artistic piece indoors. It also has other impressive attributes, like being a healthy interior plant. It is low-maintenance but has specific requirements to meet. Hence, it has its challenges but has physical and mental health benefits.
We hope you found this article about the fern interesting and helpful all together. Are you going to buy a Staghorn fern plant soon? What are your thoughts about it? Please let us know about your ideas in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this write-up, and we’ll see you in the next piece. Have fun gardening!


How do I care for a Staghorn Fern?

Staghorn Ferns have specific care requirements. They prefer bright, indirect light, so placing them near a window with filtered sunlight is ideal. They also thrive in a humid environment, so misting the fronds regularly or placing a tray of water nearby can help maintain humidity levels. Additionally, these ferns should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Mounting the fern on a wooden board or hanging it in a basket is a common practice and provides the plant with the necessary support.

How often should I fertilize my Staghorn Fern?

Staghorn Ferns are not heavy feeders, but they can benefit from occasional fertilization. During the growing season, which typically occurs in spring and summer, you can use a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer once a month or follow the product instructions. However, it’s essential not to over-fertilize, as it can lead to salt build-up and harm the plant.

Can I place a Staghorn Fern in my bathroom as a houseplant?

Absolutely! Staghorn Ferns can thrive in a bathroom environment, making them an excellent choice for adding greenery to your bathroom decor. They have a natural affinity for high humidity, which is often present in bathrooms due to showers and baths. The fern’s ability to tolerate moisture and its unique frond structure make it a stunning and low-maintenance option for bathroom plants. Just ensure that the bathroom receives adequate indirect light, and mist the fronds occasionally to maintain humidity levels. Mounting the Staghorn Fern on a wooden board or hanging it in a basket can add a beautiful touch to your bathroom walls while providing the fern with the necessary support.

Can I place my Staghorn Fern outdoors?

Staghorn Ferns can be placed outdoors in suitable climates, such as tropical or subtropical regions, where they can thrive in natural conditions that resemble their native habitat. If you live in a climate with warm temperatures, high humidity, and indirect sunlight, you can definitely place your Staghorn Fern outdoors. These ferns can be mounted on trees, walls, or grown in hanging baskets, adding a unique and eye-catching element to your outdoor space. Just make sure to protect them from direct sunlight, strong winds, and extreme temperatures, as they are sensitive to such conditions. Regularly monitor the moisture levels in the fern’s mounting material and water accordingly to keep it hydrated. By providing a suitable outdoor environment, you can enjoy the full beauty of your Staghorn Fern while allowing it to flourish.

What is the best temperature range for Staghorn Ferns?

Staghorn Ferns prefer temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). They are sensitive to extreme cold or heat, so it’s important to keep them away from drafts, air conditioning vents, and direct exposure to heaters or radiators. Maintaining a moderate and consistent temperature is key to their well-being.

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