Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) 50+ seeds one packet
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Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)

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  • Description: P. bifurcatum is the quintessential staghorn fern. They really do look like a pair of mounted deer antlers. This species "pups" freely. Growing new plants around the edges of the semi-circular sterile fronds. The sterile fronds of the new pups overlap with those of the older growths, creating a continuous layer of these fronds over the base of the plant. The fertile fronds grow outward from the base, and split or furcate, multiple times along their length. The result is a very antler looking frond, which is, of course, where the plant's common name comes from. Spore patches will form on the underside of the the tips of the fertile fronds once the plant reaches maturity.

    Size: There are a great number of cultivars of this species, with much variation between them, but the fertile fronds are usually greater than 20", and less than 36" in length. The clusters of plants can reach staggering sizes over time. I have seen old specimens that are larger than a VW beetle.

    Light: Bright filtered shade.

    Water: Water regularly, but allow it to dry between watering.

    Fertilizer: I fertilize all of my staghorn ferns with dilute (half strength) orchid fertilizer, once a month during the spring and summer. Many people put banana peels on top of their staghorn fern. I have found that this only serves to invite insects and rats to your plants, and I haven't found it to be of any benefit.

    Cultivation: This fern, prefers to be mounted on a sphagnum covered wood plaque, or a wooden or wire hanging basket. I mount them on metal baker's racks, or barbecue grills for larger specimens. These last much longer than wood.

    Pests: Scale and mealy bug, sometimes attack P. bifurcatum. I use imidacloprid (Bayer, rose and shrub)
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