Once the elkhorn is tightly secured to the mount, you need to put some organic matter between the plant and the backing material. The Staghorn Fern is one single plant (single eye) where the Elkhorn Fern is made up of many smaller plants (multiple eyes). Open: Any plastic container with a tight-fitting lid will do, just be sure it will fit in your microwave. Elkhorn ferns are smaller and have skinnier fronds than staghorn ferns. Step 2. Whereas Staghorns tend to grow as larger individuals. Subscribe and receive FREE access to past issues of the About the Garden Magazine. Elkhorns are easily propagated from the rosettes that form on the front of the plant. Rosettes can be easily attached directly to the side of a tree in a similar fashion. The mounted elkhorn can now be hung in place on a wall. Once the root has completely encased the board it can no longer be fed and will feed itself. Conversely, if the light is too low, it’ll slowly decline. Soak your staghorn fern in a sink or basin of water for 10-20 minutes, or until the roots are fully saturated. They typically grow under the canopies of trees which provide light shade. This will be your mount. The most popular is the common Staghorn fern, also known as antelope ears and elkhorn. The Elkhorn name comes from the look for the large fronds that look like elk horns. They are not prone to attack from many pests and insects, but may be preyed upon by scale bugs and mealy bugs. An east exposure in your home is fine as well as west or south but with these last 2, make sure your fern is at least 10′ away from a hot window. How to grow stag horns in a garden. A good soaking once a week during warm weather is needed, hold back a bit in cooler weather. They can be grown in a hanging basket, attached to a mounting board or attached to a tree in your garden. Make sure each section has an eye and flat green rosette leaf; this is the growing point of your plant, which is essential for continued growth. Feed these ferns with seaweed fertiliser, but only use at half the recommended strength because they don't like too much food and artificial fertilisers can burn the fronds. Indoors, this might be a sun room or greenhouse. Staghorn and Elkhorn Fern Facts – Hardy outdoors in USDA zones 9 through 12. Choose an appropriate support for the plant. Although these ferns are slow growing so no need to go overboard; Water the fern a little the day before re mounting. Elkhorn ferns are actually terrestrial plants (grow out of the ground), NOT epiphytes like staghorn ferns. Provide growing medium for your fern, such as epiphytic or sphagnum fern mix. Organic base. © 2000-2020 Garden Express Australia Pty Ltd. Take a handful of sphagnum and peat moss mix and place it firmly on the mounting board or tree trunk. Alternatively, drill holes through the board and fix the plant, antlers upward, with plastic-coated wire, heavy fishing-line, or panty-hose. The plant will eventually attach itself to the tree or board, after which time the binding can be removed. Step 1: Start out with a healthy staghorn fern. To secure the plant to the board or trunk use a garden tie or stockings. In the wild they naturally grow on trees, but they don’t feed off the trees as a parasitic plant does. The most common staghorn fern is Platycerium bifurcatum. Staghorn fern care relies on careful light, temperature and moisture monitoring. Until the backing fronds have completely enclosed the root, the root can be fed with leaf litter, tea leaves and banana skins, etc. Ferns can grow in low-light conditions, but they can not grow in no-light conditions. Protect your elkhorn fern from direct sunlight. Lay it the length of where the new plant is going to sit. In conditions with full overhead shelter, such as under the eves of a house, supplementary feeding and watering is advisable. Staghorns need very little maintenance. The method is basically the same to start a pup, division, or spore transplant on a new mount. Position fern on board. This plant features very large solid fronds up to 5 feet in length. Below are the steps to attach your Elkhorn to a mounting board/tree. Above: Draw a template. Visit our store in Monbulk, Victoria Here’s a short list of some of the most popular varieties you’… In its natural environment of tropical forests, the plant grows on tree trunks or rocks, absorbing moisture from the humid air and collecting nutrients from … In my research on this, I’ve read that elkhorn ferns produce pups, while staghorn ferns do not and can only be propagated through spores. Insert 1 wire end into 1 hole and feed through enough wire to reach centre of back of board. Staghorns and elkhorns sold in garden centres are commonly attached to a backing board which can then be fixed to a wall or tree-trunk. Pick out a tree or piece of wood for your plant to grow on. Ideal position is in a sheltered spot outdoors, receiving broken morning sun and afternoon shade. Most ferns are adapted to the loamy understory of forests and rainforests. Cut elkhorn into large sections. Use sphagnum moss between the plant and the backing board/tree. Staghorns are larger and have a large, shield-like frond at the front which curves outward to collect water and organic matter as it falls from above. In fact, those grown onto the trunk of a tree can usually fend for themselves and care should be taken not to over feed or overwater them. in weight. Most Elkhorn Ferns are found (naturally) growing in the East Indies. Above: Choose a staghorn fern that has a flat surface. This may be made of wood, recycled rubber or existing tree stump. P. bifurcatum and P. superbum are hardy down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you leave at least ¼ inch of space between the nail head and board or tree. The plants grow outdoors in warm season locations and indoors elsewhere. They do need regular watering, especially in dry conditions. Pantyhose may be used instead of wire. Staghorn Fern includes 17 different species. shield-like frond at the front which curves outward to collect water and organic matter as it falls Elkhorns and staghorns may also benefit from watering during very hot, dry periods. Use something that has a little give. Alternately, hold the fern so the roots are fully submerged until fully saturated (1-2 minutes). Each plant is composed of a mass of plantlets. Lay it the length of where the new plant is going to sit. – Can reach up to 300 pounds (!!) To mount your fern, shape several handfuls of sphagnum moss (or other well-drained growing medium) into a circular mound and "plant" your fern so that its basal fronds are in contact with the medium. The shields sometimes grow vertically, creating less surface area to mount to a board. Here are …. An epiphyte is a plant that grows on other plants and rocks rather than in soil.Elkhorn ferns are comprised of two distinct types of leaves: infertile and fertile. Then, let it drip dry and put it back in its place. (The fronds will soon grow and cover the tie. Elkhorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) is an epiphytic fern that tends to grow in small communities. 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. If you are using the … Mounted or in a basket is how to grow a staghorn fern, because they are epiphytic, growing in trees generally. – Prices start around $15 for a smallish to medium plant and can easily run over $100. Put the plant on top of the moss mix. I had the best luck mounting a staghorn fern that had a relatively flat shield (the brown shield-like part of the plant base). They take their moisture from the air, rain and decaying matter around the plant. Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) A wire passed through the shield is the best way to mount elkhorn ferns. There are countless varieties of P. bifurcatum, including many with interesting leaf forms. The Staghorn Fern is an unusual plant, being both an air plant and a fern, though it bears little resemblance to most ferns. A pruning saw is ideal for cutting through bulky leaf matter. Elkhorn Ferns can be attached to trunks of other trees or mounted on a backing board and then attached to a wall to enable easy maintenance. It is part of the Polypodiaceae family and is native to Java, New Guinea and Eastern Australia, in New South Wales, Queensland and on Lord Howe Island. 10am – 2pm Saturday, excluding public holiday weekends The smaller elkhorn has multiple rosettes or âeyesâ of foliage which can be easily separated to start new plants. Home » Growing Guide » Elkhorn Fern Growing Guide. The spectacular staghorn fern is an epiphyte or âair plantâ, which grows without soil. Even the epiphytic ferns (air plants that don't have roots), such as the staghorn, tend to thrive in the loamy leaf litter that collects in the crooks of tree branches. Staghorn fern is a member of the platycerium group. Â© About The Garden Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved | P.O. Wrap the tie around the board or tree trunk, underneath the Elkhorn’s fronds. Customer Service Available: 8:30 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday. Water in well, keep moist (but no wet) and provide an organic fertiliser (and a … If you wish to grow Staghorn ferns, make sure to provide adequate conditions in your home, such as good temperature, enough air flow, particular light and proper moisturizing. Touch the soil and water your fern if the top feels dry. So make sure your ferns are well hydrated. Elkhorn ferns can be placed in this... 2. Both plants have similar growing requirements. 8:0am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday (excl. Pull other end across fern. Locate the fern in a warm, humid location. Bind the plant so it is securely fastened at the back of the board. Step 3. 3. You can also feed these ferns with seaweed fertiliser, but only use at half the recommended strength because they don’t like too much food and artificial fertilisers can burn the fronds. Choose a place in the garden that gets filtered sun and is protected from the afternoon sun. If your fern is not getting enough light from a nearby window, set up an incandescent light above the plant to shine on it … How To Plant Elkhorn Fern Take a handful of sphagnum and peat moss mix and place it firmly on the mounting board or tree trunk. It is an epiphyte or air plant that grows naturally on tree trunks and in the crotches of tree limbs, but does not harm the tree. Ensure that the plant is not allowed to dry out and keep moist. How to Take Care of Elkhorn Ferns 1. Ferns that are not getting enough light will have retarded growth and poor color. The plant can be nailed directly onto the board with flat-headed galvanised nails through 30mm washers. As an epiphyte, the ideal planting spot for staghorn fern is mounted: on a slab of wood, some tree fern fiber, or even a rock. Staghorn Ferns are very similar to Elkhorn Ferns. In late winter, find a 2 cm larger pot than the previous one, and add a mixture of sphagnum, porous gravel, bark and potting soil. This is what feeds the plant. With a sharp kitchen knife or similar implement, carefully remove one of the rosettes. Soak a clump of sphagnum moss and set it on the mount, then set the fern on top of the moss so the basal fronds are touching the mount. (see picture below) The fern can be wired to the board or nailed to it using some galvanized flat heat nails. They need a light shade position with patches of sunlight and needs is be protected from the frost. Create a propagator with a plastic box, perlite, and peat moss. Attach the rosette to a hardwood backing board. Staghorns and Elkhorns are epiphytic, which means that they grow on another plant but don’t get food, minerals or water from the host plant. Staghorn Ferns Platycerium superbum have larger shield type leaves and the branching antler style on top. Staghorns are more difficult to propagate and quality specimens are best purchased from garden centres. Public Holidays) Take healthy plants and mark the area on board material or tree where you are planning to plant the fern using 6-8 nails to form a circle. If these get too big they can be divided and the pups attached to new backing boards. ). Plants can be safeguarded against frost, even those more suited to warmer climates. Repot my elkhorn fern The operation is delicate, and aims to regenerate the substrate of the plant, to give it a well aerated centre and more space. have an out-of-this world appearance. Feed this end of wire through corresponding hole at opposite end. Trim wire, ensuring there’s enough excess to tie ends together at back. Choose a place in the garden that gets filtered sun and is protected from the afternoon sun. The plants have two types of leaves, one of which resembles the horns of a large herbivore. Step 1. Then add a 1- to 2-inch (2.5 to 5 cm) layer of fine perlite, followed by a 2- to 3-inch (5 to 7.5 cm) layer of peat moss. There are around 24 varieties referred to in texts on platyceriums. However, there’s some confusion as to exactly how many types there really are. They are slow-growing plants so don't start too small. Another species, P. grande, is sometimes called the elkhorn fern. Native to Australian rainforests, the staghorn Platycerium superbum and closely related elkhorn Platycerium bifurcatum will grow just about anywhere in filtered light with protection from winds. Whether your a gardening novice or veteran, we can keep you informed Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring on what to grow now. Elkhorn Ferns are made up of 2 leaf types: broad heart-shaped sterile fronds which are used to attach itself to where its growing, eg trees, backing boards, etc, and long arching grey-green fertile fronds which are forked and strap-shaped which cascade down. Box 70 Kilcoy QLD 4515 Australia | PH: (07) 5422 3090 | FAX: (07) 5497 2287, How to Care for Staghorn and Elkhorn Ferns, One of the best summer-performing oestos, 'White L, We've got a quick and easy Mexican salad which wil, What's the question Wednesday! The easiest way to distinguish between the two types of fern is that Elkhorns have many plants growing together in communities and they have smaller, slender fronds. I now have several species of Staghorn Ferns. A plantlet consists of a nest leaf 12-30 cm wide, lying against the bark of the host tree. Some varieties have been merged over the years and considered part of the same species, just different cultivars.It’s generally assumed that, for most gardeners’ purposes, there’s actually around eighteen varieties grown commonly. There are only seventeen species known to exist, making it one of the smallest genera in the entire plant kingdom! Staghorn Fern Basic Information. Soaking is the easiest way to go about this: place the plant in the bathtub or outside and run room temperature water over it. Tie the fern onto the backing with a soft tie made out of something like a strip of nylon stocking. To secure the plant to the board or trunk use a garden tie or stockings. Use the Elkhorn to add a tropical and rain-forest feel to shady gardens, water features and patios. When the wire is pulled tight it becomes less visible and new leaves will eventually grow over the wire, hiding it completely. The question we'll, The cheeky orange flowers on Echeveria 'Dondo' wil, If you're after lush, low-maintenance foliage whic, Loved for stunning colour-changing blooms, Hydrang, âMidnight Goldâ attracts attention in the gard, Your garden will be swimming in compliments with t, FREE eCookbook: Easy recipes for High Tea from the garden, Protecting gardens from drought or flooding in Australia, Create the best potted plant combinations, Bring in the bees to your garden – Native plants for native bees, How to protect vegetables from chewing insects, Quick growing vegetables to grow in Winter. Repeat twice. The nest leaves of neighbouring plantlets overlap one another. Alternately, place the plaque in a sink or bathtub tap, and allow room-temperature water to run through the root ball until it is saturated. As the plant matures some antler style leaves will form in the middle and cascade down. Elkhorns need a support to grow on. The Elkhorn Fern is a truly spectacular looking fern that despite it’s exotic appearance is very easy to grow. The Elkhorn fern is an epiphyte, growing on the trunks and branches of trees.