Platycerium superbum

Platycerium superbum

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Platycerium superbum is part of the Polypodiaceae family and its native range is is E. Queensland to NE. New South Wales. This epiphyte has dimorphic fronds meaning it has both sterile and fertile fronds; the sterile fronds are green and recurving when old, they can reach up to one metre long and form a humus collecting nest. Fertile fronds can grow down to 2m in their natural environment. Unlike other species, P. superbum doesn’t produce pups, meaning if you wish to propagate new plants then spore propagation is the only method available. 

Genus epithet Platycerium is derived from the Greek 'platys' (broad) and 'keras' (horn), a reference to the antler-like fronds. Specific epithet is from the Latin 'superbus', meaning superb. 

Light: In their native environment they receive bright light that filters through the canopy. 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 superbum can handle a few hours of filtered sun.

Strong direct sunlight should be avoided, since it will make the fronds lose much of their strong green colour.

Water: Allow the potting mix to dry almost completely between waterings. If this plant is mounted, regular dunking is preferable.

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

Fertilising: Dilute your chosen fertiliser to half the recommended amount. For less established plants, especially if grown on a material that will not absorb and slow-release nutrients, the recommendation is to feed once a month during the active growth period.

Temperature: 21-24°C. Avoid temperatures below 15˚C.

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

Platycerium superbum is non-toxic.