Staghorn fern. Platycerium alcicorne house plant in 12cm pot.

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Platycerium are staghorn or elkhorn ferns which are ephiphytes. This mean that in the wild they will hang from other trees and shrubs. They are rarely rooted into the ground.

  • Platycerium are a medium sized, epiphytic plant.
  • In their natural habitat these attach themselves to trees and they hang like air plants, extracting all they need from the air and the environment.
  • There are two kinds of fronds, both densely covered with soft hairs when young. The fronds are like antlers and these can grow up to 150cm long. They are green, slowly turning to brown. The upper margins are fan-shaped and do resemble the antlers of deer.
  • There are further fronds at the base of the plant which overlap to protect the roots. These are the fertile fronds and they are drooping, usually growing in pairs of equal sizes up to 1m long.
  • The base, or shield, fronds should not be removed when they turn brown. They form a protective covering which should remain in place.
  • Water about once per week during the growing season. Mist the foliage between waterings.
  • These are jungle plants and they like humid environments.
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