Moisten a small container of peat moss and press the spores into the surface, making sure not to bury them. Cover the container with plastic and place it in a sunny window. Water it from the bottom to keep it moist. It may take 3 to 6 months for the spores to germinate.

Herein, does staghorn fern reproduce by spores?

Reproduction. Staghorn ferns do not bloom and reproduce by spores located on the underside of leaves. In the natural environment, spores are released into the air and new plants generally take root in a nearby tree or along the base of the same tree.

Similarly, how do you start a staghorn fern? Ferns don't produce seeds like most plants, so the best way to start a new staghorn fern is from its pups. Use a sharp, sterile knife to cut the pup from the parent plant. Wrap the end of the cut in damp sphagnum moss and tie it on to a piece of wood or bark loosely.

Also know, how do you propagate elkhorns?


  1. Divide. Cut elkhorn into large sections.
  2. Pot up. Thread the antler-like fronds through a gap in the wire of a basket.
  3. Pack tightly. Mix one part coco peat with two parts pre-wet sphagnum moss.
  4. Other ideas. Hang elkhorns onto any shady structure with a rough surface they can attach to.

How do ferns reproduce by spores?

These ferns lack true leaves and roots, but they spread by rhizomes and reproduce by spores that they produce on their leafless stems. After the sporangia eject the spores, the spores live underground where they grow into second-generation plants before maturing into aboveground whisk ferns.

Related Question Answers

How often should I water a staghorn fern?

A good rule of thumb is to water once per week in dry, hot times of year, and once every two to three weeks during cooler months. Start with this schedule, and adjust as necessary depending on your space. Staghorn ferns absorb water through their fronds, as well as their roots.

How long does a staghorn fern live?

The plants have been living all that time attached to an old ceramic drainpipe. About once a year, we'll do a cleaning to remove dried fronds and any decayed material. As you can see, at about 90 years of age, this fern is thriving and absolutely gorgeous!

How do you plant a staghorn fern in a hanging basket?

To grow staghorn ferns in baskets, begin by lining the basket with at least an inch (2.5 cm.) of moistened sphagnum moss, then fill the basket with a very well drained potting mix, such as one containing a mixture of equal parts bark chips, sphagnum moss and regular potting mix.

What kind of wood do you use to mount a staghorn fern?


How do you save a dying staghorn fern?

It is normal for a few fronds to die and be replaced from time to time, but the fern is in need of water if a significant number of its fronds begin to die. It may be possible to save the plant by placing its root ball in water for several minutes, allowing the roots to rehydrate.

How fast does a staghorn fern grow?

Naturally grown as epiphytes, staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) harmlessly cling to tree branches as they hang downward in the canopy's shade. These bushy evergreens grow slowly, up to 4 feet tall and wide over a period of 10 to 20 years.

How do you secure a staghorn fern to a tree?

Since staghorn ferns can get big, make sure the tree is a large and sturdy one. Place the plant so that the newest fronds are at the top, and wrap fishing line several times around the branch to secure the netted bundle of moss, bark and roots to it. Once the fern is tied in place, pour water over that bundle.

What do you feed a staghorn fern?

Staghorn ferns are exotic and beautiful additions to any plant collection. You can use chemical fertilizers on them in moderation–you can also supplement their need for potassium by feeding them banana peels. Bananas are a high-potassium food that displaces sodium that can be harmful to staghorns.

How much is a large staghorn fern worth?

This is a beauty! Originally attached to an oak tree as a small plant, this amazing fern has grown to over 6 feet in diameter, almost 4 feet tall and 3 feet deep. It is in great health and is in need of a home where it will be loved and appreciated. Similar ferns have sold for over $6,000.00.

What is the difference between a staghorn and an Elkhorn?

The difference between these two plants is the elkhorn (Platycerium bifurcatum) has thinner, wispier leaves and multiple “eyes” or rosettes of foliage whereas the staghorn (Platycerium superbum – pronounced with the emphasis on the middle syllable) has a single eye and larger leaves.

How do you divide Staghorns?

When you're ready to divide your staghorn fern, look for an offshoot and the stem or root that connects it to the main plant. In most cases, you should be able to twist or gently pull the offshoot free, but you may need to get a knife in there to sever the attaching root.

What do you feed Staghorns and elkhorns?

They can be fed by placing organic matter such as leaf litter, banana skins or compost at the back of the plant (near where it meets the backing board) or watered with a very diluted dose of SeaMax Fish & Kelp. Elkhorns and staghorns may also benefit from watering during very hot, dry periods.

How do you transplant a mature staghorn fern?

  1. The underside of foliar fronds of the staghorn develop a brown, scaly coating called sporangia.
  2. To transplant the small pups of an established staghorn fern, gently remove them from the large fern mass, wrap the roots in damp sphagnum moss and tie the root ball into a basket or onto a piece of bark or wood.

Where do I get sphagnum moss?

Sphagnum mosses occur mainly in the Northern Hemisphere in peat bogs, conifer forests, and moist tundra areas.

How do you repot a staghorn fern?

How to Repot a Staghorn Fern
  1. Choose a wire basket that is at least 2 inches in diameter larger than the original container.
  2. Line the wire basket with a 1-inch layer of moist sphagnum moss, packing the moss tightly.
  3. Fill the basket halfway with a loose mixture of equal parts potting soil, moss and wood chips.

Should you mist a staghorn fern?

Growers often thoroughly mist the basal fronds of staghorn ferns once a week. Spray bottles may be adequate for small indoor staghorn ferns, but large outdoor plants may need to be watered with a gentle, misting hose head. Staghorn ferns should be watered when the upright plants look slightly wilted.

Can staghorn ferns grow in pots?

Staghorn Ferns can be grown in a pot, in a wire basket as well as on a wire frame. They're commonly seen growing on a piece of wood, like a hunk of bark, driftwood or a tree branch. These epiphytes prefer to grow this way because it allows for maximum air circulation which is something they love.

How big does a staghorn fern get?

The most popular species, big staghorn (Platycerium bifurcatum), is said to be easiest to grow and its fronds can, over time, get to 6 feet long. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the plants grow so slowly that large specimens are very pricey and, in home gardens, are targets for thieves.

Do staghorn ferns need soil?

Growing Staghorn Ferns

They gladly grow on a wall mount, which lets air circulate around them. They need good-quality light, even some direct sunlight. They need some drying of the soil or medium in between watering. The back plates and medium need to be thoroughly soaked.