Platycerium grande – Staghorn Fern –

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Platycerium – Staghorn Fern –

There are 15 or more evergreen, epiphytic ferns, with short creeping rhizomes in this genus. Although most are found in temperate and tropical rainforest in Africa, Asia, and Australia, with one species native to South America. Staghorns ferns are grown primarily for their attractive, often elegant foliage, each plant bearing both sterile and fertile fronds. The mid to deep green sterile fronds are stalkless, rounded to oblong, and smooth edged to irregularly lobed at the upper margins, they become brown and papery, and usually form a persistent mound at the base of the plant. The fertile fronds are spreading to pendent to erect, wedge shaped at the bases, usually gray green and leathery, and are often repeatedly forked. All fronds are covered on both sides with small, star shaped hairs. The spores are formed in large patches on the undersides of fertile fronds, in some species, new plants develop from root buds on the sides of established mounds. Where not hardy grow as house plants preferably in hanging baskets. In warmer regions, grow epiphytically in a tree.

Indoors, grow epiphytically in long fiber sphagnum moss, or fastened to a board or thick branch, in bright filtered light. When in growth, water freely, mist daily and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every month, water sparingly in winter. Outdoors, grow epiphytically on a tree in partial shade. Divide in spring.

Prone to scale, beetle larvae, and moth larvae,

P. grande – This epiphytic fern from the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia grows 6′ feet tall and 4′ feet wide. It has bronze to green sterile fronds, to 36″ tall, rounded to heart or kidney shaped, with deeply lobed upper margins, they are papery, spreading or lying flat on the branches, forming an impressive crown. Gray-green fertile fronds, to 6′ fee tall, are pendent, wedge shaped, leathery, and forked into strap shaped segments. Spores form in 2 large patches on the second forks of fertile fronds.

Zones 9-11