Choose a country to see content specific to your location

A picture of a Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern

Platycerium spp.

Also known as

Elkhorn Fern, Takbokvaring (Afr.)

Platycerium ridleyi by Dmitriy Konstantinov (CC BY 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

13b

USDA zone

18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.8m

Max

1.2m

50cm

Min

80cm

More images

Platycerium alcicorne (leaves)
A photo of Staghorn Fern
Platycerium bifurcatum 3
Platycerium stemaria kz1
Platycerium superbum 1

Overview

Platycerium is a genus of about 18 epiphytic fern species from the family. Commonly known by the names Staghorn Fern or Elkhorn Fern, this references the evergreen fronds that resemble a stag's horns. They are native to tropical and temperate areas, producing two types of foliage. They are either heart-shaped (if sterile) or branched (if fertile). Oddly shaped, these ferns grow on trees and rocks and are commonly cultivated in tropical gardens, where they are grown for their elegant foliage. They do not produce flowers, but reproduce via spores that are formed on the underside of the antler-like leaves.

Common problems

The plant is prone to the fungal disease black spot, do not water over the foliage and minimize humidity indoors to prevent the disfiguring spores. Scale insects can also be a problem.

Companion plants

Can be mounted into various trees.

Propagation

Division

Detach plantlets produced from root tips or runners as soon as nests have formed.

Spores

Sow spores when ripe (brown) on well draining medium.

Special Features

Indoor plant

Plants need bright indirect light and moisture to thrive.

Pot plant

Mount on a piece of wood or in a basket, add a little mound of peat, compost or other organic matter piled up under the plant, tie the plant onto the growing medium with panty hose or plant strips.

Attractive leaves

Uses

Ornamental

Grown for their unusual fronds in trees or mounted on plaques and hung indoors.