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Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern

Platycerium bifurcatum

("plat-ee-SERRY-um bye-fur-KART-um")


Staghorn Fern, also known as Stag's Horn Fern or Platycerium bifurcatum, is an excellent plant for desks, shelves or as a hanging plant. The name Platycerium comes from  Greek roots: Platys, meaning broad, and Kero, meaning horn - and this is a great example of the botanical name giving a very clear description of the plant.  Large examples truly look like stag's horns and when displayed on a vertical surface (attached to bark, for example) resemble hunting trophies. In their natural habitat, Stag's Horn Ferns grow on tree trunks. They have two different types of frond (not true leaves). The flat, round fronds at the base grow to keep a grip on its host tree and can grow up to 60cm across. The horn-shaped fronds that grow outwards are deeply divided and can grow up to 45cm. The horn-shaped fronds carry the spore cases and are the reproductive part of the plant. The younger fronds often have a downy appearance, which diminishes as they mature, but they are rarely a deep glossy green. Do not be tempted to try and polish of the downy surface, thinking it is dust - that will damage the plant

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Additional Information

Pets & Children

Not known to be toxic


40-50cm. This plant tends to grow broader rather than taller

foli8 Coir Pot Size - read here


Country of Origin

Eastern Australia and Polynesia (P. bifurcatum), tropical East Africa (P. alcicorne). Other species of Platycerium grow in the wet tropics of Malaysia and South America

Habitat Conditions

Platyceriums are tropical ferns from the humid forests of Africa, Australia, Malaysia South America. They grow on tree trunks and branches, not in the soil. This means they have to get all their water and nutrients from above ground. The sterile broad fronds at the base of the plant grip on to the host tree, but they also trap falling debris, such as dead leaves and other organic matter that slowly decay and provide some nutrition - a built-in compost heap. Like all ferns, they need moist conditions. Ferns don't have true roots and they rely on water for reproduction. They benefit from misting with tepid water and would make excellent bathroom plants.

Plant Care


Medium - medium-high


Keep the growing medium moist and mist the foliage regularly with tepid water


Do not prune. Remove dead fronds with a sharp knife close to the base of the plant, but be careful not to damage any of the other parts of the plant


A little weak solution of fertilizer added to the water every month or so is all that is needed

Pest & Diseases

Generally pest free

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