Ask a Question forum: Staghorn fern troubles

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Chester County PA
Jan 4, 2018 8:52 AM CST
I received a Staghorn fern as a gift last week and it is now hanging on my wall (after a 6 hour drive home). I gave it a good watering in the shower last week when I got it home. Today I went to take it down to water it again and noticed that many of its fronds are covered in little dark spots. I noticed these spots when I first got it home, but they fronds still seemed strong and healthy so I didn't worry about it much and thought maybe it was supposed to look like that. Now, these affected fronds are drying up in a grey color. Any suggestions of what I can do to save this plant?
Thumb of 2018-01-04/Veronicalane/65dc69
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Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Jan 4, 2018 10:27 AM CST
Hi Veronicalane, Welcome!
My eyesight is poor and I can't see the photos clearly enough to tell what the dark spots are on your Common Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) Are they appearing on the reverse sides of the fronds or the top? My first thought was maybe you were seeing spores which appear as brown on the reverse side but if it's black (as it appears in the photos) the issue may be due to cold damage; possibly a fungal infection if the plant has experienced wet and cold conditions.

Hopefully others will be able to see your photo more clearly and offer advice.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jan 4, 2018 11:03 AM CST
I think your fern got a little too cold on your trip home. Those fronds won't come back but others will grow to take their place. I would also water more often than once a week. Make sure your fern isn't sitting where it is hit by the heat from the heat vents.
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

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Jan 4, 2018 3:02 PM CST
Definitely cold damage. Even a quick trip out to the car and back in this bitterly cold northeast weather is enough to damage tender tropical plants. I also agree with Daisy that it will recover, but you will need to be patient.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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