Staghorn ferns (genus Platycerium) can be mounted to make a gorgeous statement in your home. The species that you'll typically find for sale is Platycerium bifurcatum, which refers to the bifurcated or forked ends of the fronds. They are native to temperate and tropical regions of South America, southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Guinea. As epiphytes, they obtain nutrients and moisture directly from the air rather than the ground.
Again, staghorn ferns are epiphytes, so they do well if mounted to a board or piece of wood. However, they do just fine if you keep them potted. As ferns, they reproduce via spores rather than pollen. Their spores are brown in color and are produced on the undersides of the fronds (the 'leaves' of ferns). They have a very interesting architecture composed of two types of fronds: antler fronds and shield fronds. The antler fronds are forked and grow out away from the base of the plant. The shield fronds are round and grow at the base of the plant and, as you might guess, protect the roots. It's normal for shield fronds to eventually turn brown in color - don't let this alarm you!
Light. Like many of the plants in our shop, staghorn ferns thrive in bright indirect light, both indoors and outside.
Water. As tropical plants, staghorn ferns prefer a humid environment. If you live in a drier climate, you can mimic humidity by misting your plant anywhere from once a day to once a week. These plants also do well with frequent soaking. Every 1-2 weeks either drench the pot with the fern in it, or if your plant is mounted you can soak it in the sink or a bowl. The key is to allow the plant medium to dry out between waterings.
If you want one of these uniquely stunning plants, stop by our shop! We usually have several on hand. Our ferns are potted currently, but we will begin offering some mounted staghorns soon!