Ask a Question forum: Staghorn fern

Views: 516, Replies: 13 » Jump to the end

courtk04
Apr 12, 2016 3:24 PM CST
I have a staghorn fern that was purchased almost three years ago in a 6 inch pot. It has grown quite large and up until this winter always had fertile fronds and pups but for a while there has been no new growth and the fronds are all sterile. I finally transplanted it into a wire basket with sphagnum moss. i realize i should have done this sooner but because it was thriving up until a few months ago i left it potted and sprayed it often. I am wondering if there is any hope for it. There are still many leaves on it, but no new growth. I wondered if the lack of any sterile fronds meant it was doomed. thanks for your help.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Apr 12, 2016 3:29 PM CST
Hi courtk04, Welcome to All Things Plants!

Do you grow your Common Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) indoors year-round or does it get to spend time outdoors during warm months? If it still has green fronds, I'd say there indeed is hope and now that the weather is warming up in most areas of the country, you may see new growth beginning real soon!

Member @Drdawg grows and sells Staghorn Ferns and he might be able to offer suggestions and advice for optimal health of your plant.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

courtk04
Apr 12, 2016 3:45 PM CST
Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately it doesn't have any green fronds right now, which is why i'm concerned. it does spend the winter indoors.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Apr 12, 2016 4:09 PM CST
You must live in an area where it doesn't get cold in winter? I'm in zone 9b Florida and there are times when it gets really cold here and I have to bring mine inside so that they don't freeze.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

courtk04
Apr 12, 2016 4:29 PM CST
i do bring it in for winter. is there any hope if all fronds are brown?
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Apr 12, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Paging DrDawg.........Staghorn help please Thumbs up
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 12, 2016 10:00 PM CST
Ken is away on a trip, I think. I have a big staghorn too, but it's permanently attached to a huge oak tree and I do nothing for it except throw a few coffee grounds up there occasionally.

They do like humidity, and feed off stuff that falls from the tree, in the 'wild'. So possibly you should have been misting it with a little bit of very dilute fertilizer occasionally. If the plaques (leaf bases) are still green you should be ok. Remember they really feed mostly through their leaves. The roots just hold the plant in place for the most part. That means the potting medium doesn't matter all that much. I'm pretty sure Ken grows most of his mounted on wood, so basically no soil or moss at all.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Apr 13, 2016 6:08 AM CST
Courtk04- I was waiting for Ken to answer first, but I can tell you what I did. I also had a staghorn in a 6' pot then moved it to a wire basket (now both are in wire baskets with moss). My experience was that the stag grew very slow in the pot. But since I've moved them to wire baskets and also to a spot with a lot more sun they're growing like crazy. It took about a week or so for the plant to adjust to the basket. Every morning, I lightly mist the fertile fronds with just water, and that seems to have the biggest impact on the growth. Then for watering, I use a water soluble fertilizer at the lowest strength about once a month. I haven't graduated to hanging the staghorn yet, they are still manageable in the baskets. Eventually they will need to go on the wall.

Wondering if your staghorn just needs a little time to realize it has more room to grow now...


Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Apr 13, 2016 6:51 AM CST
Oh, good. Exactly what I wanted to know. A friend just sent me a Staghorn along with a wire basket for it. I've got moss in the garage so I'll put it in that along with a little soil.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
Apr 13, 2016 3:46 PM CST
I apologize but have had no access to a computer since Sunday. I am in KY and tomorrow leave for NC for a large orchid expo. I should have access to a computer at the hotel but when I can do so is questionable. I have a lot of things to keep me busy while at the expo.

@courtK04, can you post some pictures? I am a bit confused with your terns "sterile" and "fertile" fronds.

I can tell you this. I grow none of my staghorn ferns in baskets or in moss. That doesn't mean this growing method can't or shouldn't be done, I just don't do it. These are epiphytic "air-plants" and I want mine to grow more as they do in nature. Once the plants' fertile fronds reach 6-8" (whether there is a basal frond or not), I try to mount those plants.

In my experience, if my staghorns are getting bright light, enough moisture to keep the fronds from shriveling (not a lot of moisture given in the winter months if they are potted), low temperature at or above 55 F, and low-dose fertilizer (1/4 strength) when watering, they never stop growing.

If you could post some pictures, that would be most helpful.
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: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Apr 14, 2016 7:05 AM CST
I should have been more clear regarding how I water the staghorn in a pot/basket.

I only water when the soil, feels dry 1'" down. During spring so far it seems they need water about once a week, maybe less. Winter is even less frequent, every couple of weeks. And I add the water soluble fertilizer once a month, only during growing season.

When the superbum was in the plastic pot from the nursery, the longest between watering was 2 months! Weird to me that a larger fern would consume less water than a bifurcatum, but the superbum has consistently been is a slow drinker, even in the basket.

Best thing to start with is correct ID of your plant, because different types of staghorn prefer different types of care.


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 14, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Alyssa, a larger fern has more leaves absorbing water and nutrients from the air. They really don't take in much through their roots at all. The roots just hold the plant upright, and in place. So what you water the medium with or how often you do it is not really relevant to the plant's health.

Mine, up in the oak tree, gets nothing but rain and what it collects from the air. In our dry hot fall and spring weather, we can easily go 6 weeks without rain but that huge staghorn never wilts or looks unhappy. In summer it can handle a deluge every day also. It takes in what it needs through the leaves and sheds the rest.

Spraying the foliage with rain water will keep most any staghorn pretty happy, jmho. You could put it in a pot or on a log, or in the crutch of a tree and it would be happy with sprayed leaves. It really doesn't need soil, pot or any other medium except to hold it in position for display purposes.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Apr 14, 2016 5:34 PM CST
Elaine, ok thank you! That's great info! Now I get the misting.....

When I picked up the bifurcatum a couple of months ago, it was in a plastic hanging pot at a big box store, and was SO heavy from having been watered, I had to re-pot right away. Even then, a few weeks later some black marks showed up on the leaves, a fungus from having been kept wet for whatever amount of time. Cut off the three affected fronds at that point and it's fine now.

I wish I lived in an area where they could grow on trees! That sounds like a fun back yard!!!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
Image
WillC
Apr 16, 2016 8:16 AM CST
Courtk04 - I am confused. In your first post you wrote, "There are still many leaves on it." But you subsequently posted " it doesn't have any green fronds right now." This makes it hard to know if your Staghorn is dead or simply not putting out new growth right now. A photo or a cleat description would help us provide better information for you.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"