Plant ID forum: Which Platycerium?

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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Oct 21, 2013 9:48 AM CST
I know that this is a Staghorn fern (Platycerium), though my question is …Which variety could it be, and how can you tell? These fronds don't appear to be the same as others I've seen. Wondering if that is because it's young? Or a different variety than say the P. bifurcatum, for example. Any help is greatly appreciated!


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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 22, 2013 7:47 AM CST
Tara, you may have the bifurcatum and perhaps the sub-variety, 'Netherlands'. You have a plant that is still too young to really tell what variety you have. Many of the species look similar when they are small, young plants. Your plant does have a basal frond - some varieties don't. As your plant ages it will develop the characteristics of the species. For example, the bifurcatum will form offset plants, called "pups". This may take 2-3 years though. Some varieties don't have pups. Also, when staghorns are grown in pots rather than mounted, their fronds will often have different characteristics, often more pointed than forked. Again, this is more prominent when the plant is young.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Oct 22, 2013 8:00 AM CST
drdawg, thank you so much. I had a feeling that the young age of this plant had something to do with it, but I wasn't sure. This plant was a gift received just over a year ago. My first Staghorn, and it was already in this pot. I was thinking that it would be better off if it was mounted instead of potted. Mounting would be a more "natural" condition for this plant, would it not?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 22, 2013 2:06 PM CST
You are absolutely correct, Tara. Staghorns grow naturally (mostly) in trees, thus mounting them shows off their best characteristics, allowing the fronds to cascade. Another advantage is that it is hard if not impossible to kill the staghorn by overwatering. Over 90% of those that die, die of too much water, and those are almost always in pots. IF you are going to continue growing yours in the pot, make sure that the potting soil is super-well-draining.

Check out my website, [url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url] and you will see mounted ones.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Oct 22, 2013 2:19 PM CST
Ok, thanks! It is in this pot, but no soil…Just long-fiber Sphagnum moss. So I'm guessing that mounting should be…not complicated... I glanced at your site and I'll go back and contact you for mountings…Thanks! So glad you popped in here! Green Grin!



Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 22, 2013 3:49 PM CST
So your staghorn is in a (probably cedar) basket with only sphagnum moss, correct? I would not grow a staghorn in sphagnum, though I do use it as a backing when mounting a small plant. That being said, if your plant has been growing this way for a year, and it does appear very healthy, you have gotten away with this medium because of the slatted basket.

Stags can be mounted on practically anything. I would not used treated lumber though. The absolutely best mounting material I have ever found is natural Portuguese cork. The cork has so many "toe-holds", does not retain any water, and is light as a feather. As your staghorn gets older and larger, it will really start to get heavy. All my really large (4 + years old) stags are on cork. They might have begun their life on other mounts but finally get moved to cork. Cork is pretty expensive but might last a life-time, so you get a lot of bang for the buck.

Another plant that seems to grow best on cork is the orchid. The orchid roots (orchid is an epiphyte, just like the staghorn) simply go crazy when mounted on cork. You can tell how happy an orchid plant is by its roots. Orchids are my true "passion".
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Oct 22, 2013 4:58 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. @drdawg! I'll be speaking with you soon!
Tara

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