Staghorn Fern:  Houseplant with Dramatically Sculptured Antlers

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) is a highly unique-looking plant native to Africa, Australia and Polynesia.  This fern is so named as its fronds have the striking resemblance of deer antlers. 

It is an epiphyte or air plant which is found growing tall in the trees attached to the bark.  You do not need soil to grow this epiphytic fern.

It gets its nutrients from the air by way of the sterile, flat brown fronds which collect organic matter and water. These fronds located at the base of the plant, are used to attach itself to trees.  The fertile green fronds are dramatically sculptured "antlers" which bear spores for reproduction.

Unique Home Decor

Staghorn Fern mounted on rustic brown wall

If you like the look of rustic decor, but find hanging animal heads unnerving and objectionable, try the Staghorn Fern.

They come already attached to a slab for mounting to the wall. The striking antler-shaped features of this plant adds a modern, contemporary touch of a chalet to your room.  And plants are always essential for a healthy indoor environment and our well-being.

Quick Care Tips for Air Plants
 .  Bright to medium light
 .  Drench with tepid water and let dry
 .  Mist to increase humidity levels
 .  Normal room temperatures (avoid hot and cold drafts)

Staghorn Fern Care Indoors

Light:  Place the plant where it can receive medium to high light (near a bright east or south window). It should receive bright, indirect sun for most of the day.

Water:  Water the plant thoroughly once a week during growing season. Dunk it in a pail and allow water to saturate. Drain and discard the excess water. Decrease water during cooler periods when plants go dormant. Moisture will not evaporate as quickly; as a result, and the plant’s water needs will be lower.

Potting Mix:  The plant does not use traditional soil. Plant in sphagnum moss in a hanging planter, or attach it to a slab of bark.  You can also use cork boards.
Temperature: This tropical plant likes to be kept at 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Keep plant away from heating and cooling vent.

Fertilization:  Apply liquid fertilizer of fish emulsion every month during the growing season.

Humidity:  High to moderate (25% or more).  Provide a warm, humid environment. Spray dry areas with a mist of tepid to keep them moist; however, the best solution is to have a room humidifier adjacent to your plants.

Propagation: Sow spores or offsets (pups) from the parent plant in moist sterile peat moss. 

With proper care you will find this epiphytic fern to be a truly remarkable houseplant that will spark a lot of interest and conversation --- and you won't offend PETA.

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