Ask a Question forum: staghorn fern

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Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 21, 2017 6:36 PM CST
I have a mature STAGHORN in a basket. My sister gave it to me in poor condition and I got it back to a healthy condition however, I had it under my bird of paradise tree and the back side section seems to have gotten too much water. Just took it out to clear away ferns that are growing on those spider legs that grow out of the head. The head which is dark and water soaked and somewhat dead looking and do not have any new fronds growing but those spider like legs seemed healthy when I cut back some of them. Should I keep the basket in the sunlight to dry out and possibly it will come back or should I give it some plant food or is it dead and need to cut it away from the healthy part. can anyone give their help. Thank you
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 21, 2017 6:53 PM CST
Welcome!

Can you post some photos so we can see what you are seeing?

In the meantime, no, don't fertilized and no, don't put it in direct sun.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Mar 22, 2017 9:49 AM CST

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@drdawg should be able to give you some tips!
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Mar 22, 2017 10:05 AM CST
Welcome! I too want to see several photographs, Maryellen, @ flora2175.

Daisy, is right on. No fertilization and certainly no sun between the hours of 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Otherwise, the staghorn's fronds will get sunburned.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 23, 2017 9:38 AM CST
Hi Daisy No Dr Dawg, Appreciate your advice, I did move it to a dryer, diffused area under my rubellini tree, no direct sun. Hope you get 4 photos, one photo shows a young frond yellowing??? Don't know why . Two photos show the darker head without growth because of being wet and one shows the healthy part. I never see plants with ground ferns growing on them, is this normal, preferential or should I cut them off. Seems this area of Florida grows fern everywhere especially in the Palm trees. Thanks for your help
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Mar 23, 2017 9:52 AM CST
I am not sure that the "No Dr Dawg" means, but I will try to help you.

Wow, Maryellen, you have a lot of Rabbit's Foot Ferns growing in that basket. I would try to separate the stag from the rabbit. They actually require different growing conditions, since the stag is truly an epiphytic and the rabbit is a terrestrial. The rabbit's foot extensive "roots" are possibly hindering the growth of the staghorn. I have absolutely no concern about the yellowed frond. These fronds do this all the time. That's their nature. To eliminate your concern about retained watering/over watering, you need to change your potting soil to a much more open, much better draining soil (and just so you know, I grow all of mine mounted, without a smidgen of soil). Though staghorns do best when their basal frond "pad" stays constantly moist, they don't do well when they stay soggy wet. Since all of my large staghorns are mounted, I never have to worry about over-watering. That's practically impossible with mounted plants, orchids included.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 23, 2017 11:07 AM CST
Sorry about the "no" suppose to be "and". however, I didn't know those ferns were called rabbits foot, they are attached to those fuzzy lookin spider legs. Aren't the spider legs part of the STAGHORN? That was how the plant was when I received it so I thought that was how it should be, this was my first experience with STAGHORN fern. Should I be cutting all that fern and spider legs off?
Also I don't know if I could remove the plant from the wire basket, seems all involved and I wouldn't want to damage it. Today in checking the plant, the soggy part is drying out, I'm hoping by keeping it dry it will start sprouting some new ferns, it truly is an interesting plant, maybe I'll tackle orchids next. Again thanks for your feedback ME
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Mar 23, 2017 1:53 PM CST
No, staghorns don't have roots anything like what you see. They are extremely fine-rooted ferns, though those roots can be dense. You can cut all those Rabbit's Foot Ferns off, section by section, freeing up your staghorn which will be centered in the basket. You can probably pot up those RFF segments, and grow new fern plants if you wish. RFF is an interesting fern in its own right.

Once you have cleared out those RFF's (and don't worry about harming the staghorn, so long as you don't actually cut off any of the fertile and basal fronds), you will be able to just pull that staghorn out of the basket. I have literally divided monster staghorns, staghorns weighing 100+ lbs., over the years, using a huge serrated knife to "saw" through the segments. Staghorns are not sissy plants. They can take some whacking and still do fine.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 23, 2017 2:23 PM CST
Thank you so much for your advice, I took a really close look to cut the RFF out, they are attached to these fuzzy leggy things which I think are parasites which entwine thru the whole basket I am untwining and cutting it right to the base of the basket and now see the true form of the Staghorn at its base, the dark area I spoke about was a lot of this fuzzy growth intertwining the plant, now there is a void where I hope the STAGHORN will regrow.
I'll send pics of my progress with the plant cleaned out. That leggy growth seemed to have strangled one of the STAGHORN but I see a little green growth on the shredded mossy material. Have to ever seen this? ME
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Mar 23, 2017 4:44 PM CST
Maryellen, this is no "parasite", its just the way Rabbit's Foot Ferns grow. Here is a photo of one that has 10X the rhizomes/roots as yours.

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 23, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Oh my gosh, well I'm glad I cut it out, it was everywhere in the STAGHORN. Maybe now my STAGHORN will grow like I see in photos. Thanks for the education on rabbit foot fern. Great info, I hope it helps others. I'll pass on photos when my STAGHORN is really healthy. Thanks again Maryellen
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Mar 23, 2017 8:19 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 23, 2017 9:45 PM CST
Hurray! I tip my hat to you. Thank You! love these little icons
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 23, 2017 11:27 PM CST
My Rabbit's Foot Fern is the only plant in my greenhouse that never moves. It has tied itself to the bench. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Mar 24, 2017 6:00 AM CST
I don't grow them and never have, Daisy. I just assumed that was what Maryellen was dealing with and I found photos on Google Images. Perhaps you can post a photo that shows what your RFF looks like.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Maryellen Macginley
Holiday (Zone 9b)
flora2175
Mar 24, 2017 7:34 AM CST
Hi Daisy and Ken, I actually put those rabbit foot ferns in the trash, just seems they could be very invasive here in Florida, the fern from my palm tree has actually made itself into ground cover in many garden beds, looks pretty but crowds everything else. I'm always clearing them out but I would like to see a pic of the bench too Smiling Maryellen
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 24, 2017 7:55 AM CST
Thumbs up Since I don't grow it and never have, I don't know whether it is considered an invasive (in FL) or not. Nothing wrong in trashing what you don't want to grow. The photos of the RFF has always shown them potted. That's a sure way to prevent invasion. nodding
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

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