Platycerium bifurcatum - Staghorn fern
Platycerium bifurcatum - Staghorn fern
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Platycerium bifurcatum - Staghorn fern

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Platycerium bifurcatum is part of the Polypodiaceae family, its native range is E. Australia, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia. Platycerium bifurcatum have two types of frond, one is at the base of the plant and is shield shaped, this supports this plant and is responsible for breaking down debris (that falls from the host tree) that can be turned into nutrients. The second kind is drooping and forked like antlers.

The shield fern will eventually turn brown and dry up, don’t be tempted to remove it; this is a normal part of the ageing process of the plant.

Genus epithet Platycerium is derived from the Greek 'platys' (broad) and 'keras' (horn), a reference to the antler-like fronds. Bifurcatum means divided into equal parts.

Hanging pot: ø 18cm.

Foliage: Approximately 40cm

 

Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive. Platycerium bifurcatum can handle a few hours of filtered sun. 

Water: Water crown regularly, allow the potting mix to dry out a little between waterings.  

Potting mix: A well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark, horticultural charcoal and worm castings. This plant could also by potted or mounted in sphagnum moss.

Fertilising: Feed your plant every other watering during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.

Temperature: 15-28°C. 

Humidity: Platycerium bifurcatum would prefer higher humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.

Platycerium bifurcatum are non-toxic.