New in the Nursery: Staghorn Ferns


Our store is looking extra-green these days thanks to a fresh assortment of mounted Staghorn Ferns. Part of the genus Platycerium, these statement-making specimens are native to tropical regions of Africa, northern Australia, and southeast Asia. Staghorns get their name from their unusual fronds, which bear a striking resemblance to antlers. In the wild, these epiphytic plants grow in the crooks of trees. Like tillandsia, they absorb water and nutrients through their fronds rather than the soil, which makes them perfect for a mounted planting.

Staghorn ferns are composed of two distinct frond types. The large, bifurcated leaves are known as "antler fronds," while "shield fronds" surround the root ball that anchors the fern. Shield fronds start out green and eventually turn brown; this is a normal part of the fern lifecycle and dried shield fronds should remain on the plant.

Though Staghorn care may seem daunting, these sculptural ferns are relatively low-maintenance. Start by hanging your fern in bright, indirect sunlight. Provide gentle, regular misting, and submerge the plaque in a basin or sink of room temperature water for 10-20 minutes for more thorough watering. In hot and dry climates, Staghorns should be soaked weekly; every 2-3 weeks is sufficient in cooler, more humid conditions. Monitor your fern for signs of wilting, and note if the antler fronds begin to turn brown or black at the base-- this is a sign of overwatering. Staghorns will thrive in a wide range of temperatures, from 50-100 degrees, and should be fertilized with a balanced, water-soluble formula. 

Throughout the season, our plant team highlights their freshest additions to the garden with New in the Nursery. Check in at your local store to take home these newly-arrived plants.

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