Platycerium (Elkhorn fern) - Care tips
Platycerium (Elkhorn fern)
Have you ever heard of the staghorn fern? Or the elkhorn fern? Well, these are the terms for plants belonging to the Platycerium family. This family is a genus containing 18 fern species, but due to their gorgeous shaped fronds, they are most known with their nickname! The Platycerum family originates from tropical and temperate areas of Africa, South America, New Guinea and Australia. But the most interesting and fun thing about this genus is that they are epiphytic, which means they grow on other plants without being a parasite!
The adult plant of the genus Platycerium has tufted roots that grow from a short rhizome. And nature is incredible, because from these roots two different types of leaves can grow. The basal, sterile leaves protect the roots of the fern from damage. In some species of the genus Platycerium, the leaves can form an open crown and catch falling water. The other leaves growing from the rhizome are fertile and usually serve to help the plant reproduce. Some species of Platycerium are also solitary and have only one rhizome. Moreover, these beauties can grow to more than 1 metre in height with certain species!
Platycerium plant care tips
Light and placement for Platycerium
Since most of these beautiful fern ladies come from tropical to temperate zones, they like bright but indirect sunlight. Make sure you find the lightest spot in your house for your new lady, and she will thank you with beautiful light green foliage! Avoid exposing your Platycerium to direct sunlight, however, as this can burn it and scorch the plant. Besides the bright light, they also like high humidity, which makes them perfect for the bathroom or kitchen.
As mentioned, your fern lady is a strong green beauty. Due to the large shield leaves that protect the root, we recommend that you water her from below. Leave her in the water for 10 to 15 minutes and make sure she drains well. Do not overwater and always check if the soil is starting to dry out before you water it again. Like any plant, water less in the winteto leave her in her resting state.
A liquid fertilizer like our biological PLNTS Nutrition can be used once a month during the growing season to help her thrive more and encourage her unique foliage to shine in your house.
Do you like your fern lady so much that you want another version of her? With the right equipment, you can have it done in no time! There are two ways to propagate your Platycerium. To avoid shocking your plant you can propagate her through spores, but this is a slow process and we know that PLNTSlovers are impatient when it comes to plants! You can also propagate her by dividing her, using a small pair of secateurs or a sharp knife to cut off small young shoots, but you must make sure you take fertile and sterile leaves. Keep your new cuttings warm and moist until they are established.
Most common pests on Platycerium
Your fern ladies are really strong, and not often infected by pests. But if you don’t pamper them correctly or when they lack humidity, pesky insects can appear to take advantage of your Platycerium weakness. Soft scales are the most common, but sometimes mealybugs can infect your plant too. If you find something suspect on your plant, feel free to check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests!
Are Platycerium poisonous for your pets or children?
Besides being gorgeous, strong and cute, the Platycerium Family contains only safe plants for children and pets in the genus! So don’t be afraid to let your furry friends approach your green lady, and maybe they will become best friends?!
Platycerium plant for sale
At PLNTS.com, we have the gorgeous Baby Platycerium Bifurcatum and her cute little green leaves. If you want to see your fern lady grow into a mature and incredible Fern, this is the best option! Otherwise, we can show you our beautiful Platycerium Alcicorne and her thick green foliage with seaweed-like leaves! Here at PLNTS.com, we got you covered for your plants dreams!