Platycerium bifurcatum 'Netherlands' - 4 inch pot
PLATYCERIUM BIFURCATUM 'NETHERLANDS'
This close relative of the staghorn fern has the same great characteristics, but stays smaller and is perfect for containers.
Habit and Growth Rate:
Slow to Medium growth rate. Should have some peat to hold fertilizer salts and moisture, but the mix must drain very well.
This fern will grow upright in a pot, or perform well mounted on a board or in a basket. This fern can get quite large, the bigger the container the bigger the fern!
Staghorn ferns prefer to be kept in a location that boasts consistent, shaded light. That being said, they can handle more sunlight if given enough water, warmth, and humidity. Just be cautious about allowing any direct rays to hit the fragile fronds, as they can burn easily.
Though young ferns may be started in a moist traditional potting mixture, staghorn ferns should be mounted once they progress towards maturity. Staghorn ferns are epiphytes, growing on the sides of trees or other plants in the wild, and will therefore thrive in similar conditions in your home. To mount, you'll need a starting lump of peat, compost, moss, or other organic matter to act as the base, but beyond that should not need additional soil.
Proper watering is an essential component of a staghorn fern's success. They'll need frequent watering, but the base should be allowed to dry out in between—about once a week in warmer climates or during the summer months, and once every two to three weeks in cooler months. For easy watering, remove your fern and its mounting from the wall (or wherever it's hung) and soak in a sink filled with water for 10–20 minutes, or until the roots are fully saturated. Allow to drip dry before rehanging.
If you notice the fronds have begun to brown or blacked towards the base, it's likely your plant is being over watered. Likewise, if the tips of the fronds begin to brown or wilt, it probably needs to be watered more frequently.
Temperature and Humidity
If there's one thing to remember, it's that staghorn ferns love humidity. Though more mature staghorn can survive briefly freezing temperatures, they thrive in warm, humid conditions. Care should be taken to maintain those conditions (at least above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and below 100 degrees Fahrenheit), especially when they're young.
To increase the humidity around your plant, try placing it in one of the more naturally humid areas of your home, such as the bathroom or kitchen. If that doesn't work, increase the humidity around the plant by using a small-scale humidifier or spritzing the plant periodically.
To promote increased growth in your staghorn fern, you can feed it monthly with a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer—this is best done during the spring and summer, when the fern experiences active growth. Fertilizing frequency can slow to every other month during the fall and winter.
Not winter hardy!
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