Grow And Care For Platyceriums Staghorn Fern

The deer horn fern is an unusual tropical plant and is often grown as a houseplant or hanging plant. Deer-horned ferns have several types of leaves that serve different purposes, some of which look like antlers. And the shape gives this unusual plant its name, as if numerous pairs of green horns elegantly drape themselves from the roots.

But what are deer horn ferns and are they easy to care for? Today we will review all the peculiarities of growing deer-horned ferns and show exactly how to grow your own collection of lush green Fern leaves.

Fenster mit Platycerium bifurcatum (Geweihfarn) in Korb-Ampel, Begonia elatior (Begonie), Saintpaulia ionantha (Usambaraveilchen), Nephrolepis (Schwertfarn), Pteris (Saumfarn), Gie�anne

All about the deer horn fern

This fern is unusual in that each plant has two different types of leaves. The upper leaves, called “shields” or basal fronds, catch dead leaves, insects and other debris to use them for nutrients while protecting the roots from excess water.

The lower leaves produce spores from which most species of deer-horned ferns reproduce. Some varieties of deer-horned ferns also form puppies or offshoots and can grow over time to encircle the surface on which they grow. They are popular in botanical gardens and as hanging plants in homes.

Deer-horned ferns, also known as Crown deer horn, moose-horned fern, deer-horned fern and many others) are epiphytic tropical plants native to South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Guinea. There, the deer horn fern grows on a tree trunk in the forests there.

Types of deer horn fern

For most gardeners, there are about eighteen varieties of deer horn fern that are commonly grown. Here is a short list of some of the most popular varieties.

Platycerium coronarium, ‘deer horn fern’, ‘crown deer horn’, ‘moose horn fern’, ‘disc deer horn fern’

This variety of deer horn fern produces two types of leaves. The first are wide erect basal fronds, and the second is a long fertile, hanging, forked leaf. These longer leaves carry the spores from which the plant reproduces. Native to Southeast Asia, Platycerium coronarium is an epiphyte commonly called aerial plant.

Platycerium alcicorne

Two types of leaves are also common for the fern Platycerium alcicorne, one being a “shield” and the other a longer, thin frond with numerous finger-like tips. It is believed that the shield sheet protects the root mass to prevent it from becoming excessively moist in tropical forest conditions. A popular variety native to the tropical climates of Madagascar and East Africa is the subspecies Platycerium alcicorne var. vassei.