Avatar for aandorn
Mar 22, 2016 11:09 AM CST
Thread OP

Hi there, just got a magnificent looking staghorn fern for our new place, and accidently/stupidly ended up ‘cleaning’ what I thought was dust/dandruffy stuff from the leaves, which I now realize must have been the waxy coating that allows them to retain water… Have I doomed my plant?!?
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Mar 22, 2016 11:25 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
Welcome! @aandorn. Before you do anything else, go to your "Profile" and update it, adding your location, city/state and/or USDA zone. Often location dictates what questions are asked and what answers are given.

Though I have grown staghorn ferns by the hundreds, I will have to guess the answer to your question since I have never (completely) removed the white, powdery, waxy coating on their fronds. Occasionally, some of this coating gets rubbed off but it has never caused a problem that I am aware of. My guess is that you'll want to mist the plant (perhaps) daily so that moisture can replace some of which will transpire from the fronds. Keep your plant in bright light but no direct sun. That will limit water-loss. Keep your growing media moist but be sure it is well-draining. Tropical plants in general love moisture but hate soggy soil. My hope is that the waxy coating will slowly but surely reform. It may take weeks and it may take months. I don't know.

Good luck with your staghorn. By the way, when the fronds get 6-8" in length, every single one of my staghorns are mounted. That's the way they grow in nature. They are air-plants.
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
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Mar 22, 2016 1:17 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Hi aandorn, Welcome to All Things Plants

I've always heard that the white felt-like substance on the fronds of Common Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) helps to retain moisture so it should probably not be wiped off. Hopefully your staghorn will not brown and die but I think if the plant is healthy, it should recover just fine and be okay ... even if those current fronds die, the plant should produce anew from the basal frond. You can read more about the common staghorn fern here:
http://www.sandiegozoo.org/CF/...
http://www.missouribotanicalga...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Last edited by plantladylin Mar 22, 2016 2:39 PM Icon for preview
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Mar 22, 2016 1:54 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
The roundish, basal frond is the sterile one, Lin. The long, arching fronds will have loads of spore-patches on their tips after the plant reaches 3-5 years old, so they would be the fertile fronds.

basal (sterile) frond


spores on reverse side of fronds


other side of the same fronds (top-side)
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
Image
Mar 22, 2016 2:43 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Ken, *Blush* thank you for the correction, I've edited my earlier post. Those are awesome photos, you should upload them to the database: Common Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) if you haven't already, or just transfer them from your above post by clicking on each and associate it with the plant in the database which I think will move it over there. I especially think the ones showing spores should be in the database, currently there are no photos showing the spori.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Avatar for aandorn
Mar 27, 2016 9:17 PM CST
Thread OP

Thanx so much! So far its doin fine, maybe ill start misting it soon...
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Mar 28, 2016 6:00 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
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