Platycerium madagascariense

jlm_lizardMarch 26, 2005

OK, so not really a good beginner Platycerium, but I am trying to build up a Malagasy native plant population in my Uroplatus (Malagasy leaftail gecko) vivarium, and had them for only $25. Since it is such a rare form, I suppose I should have left it to the experts, but I just couldn't resist trying it out. The vivarium is lit by 220 watts of 10000K compact fluorescent lights, and I have been keeping it at 75-85% humidity; I am aware that this is more humidity than is recommended for this species, but I have to appease my geckos too. The vivarium is ventilated in a way to provide constant air movement without much loss of humidity also, which should help I suppose.

I actually received 2 really tiny pups, only 2" across, in tiny plastic baskets filled with sphagnum. In my beginner haste and naiveté, I took them out of the baskets, removed about 2/3 of the moss leaving just some around the base of the plant, and tucked them into little nooks in the corkbark panels on the back of the vivarium. I used some sewing pins to pin some of the moss in place to further hold them... being careful not to poke the plant or the root mass.

Since then, I have been informed that I should have left them in their baskets, but wouldn't you know it, I went to put them back in, and my wife had already tossed the baskets into the trash compactor, and took out the smashed mess... too late. any thoughts on ways to improve my chances?

here's a couple pics of them



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leemcallister(Z10 SFL)


The only real problem w/Madagascariense is getting the right moisture balance. The shield fronds on this platycerium do not absorb as much water as others so you need to be sure to keep the sphagnum moist. On the other hand, this species is also pretty suspectible to root rot, so special precautions need to be taken.

I've had great success by packing the sphagnum very loosely around the roots, this has eliminated my problems with rot.

This balance has worked for me in my environment (outdoors, south florida, 60% shade and 40-60% humidity). You may need to tweak this a little for your environment.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 6:08PM
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I have this species for sale if anyone is interested

Here is a link that might be useful: 18 species of Platycerium ferns (staghorn ferns)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 3:01PM
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here is a video on how to mount a stag-

We also started a staghorn owners page on facebook.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:58PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Since this is such an old post curious as to how it worked for you Would think it would way outgrow a terrarium??
have always wanted to attempt some of the other types
But tough to find and are always expensive lol gary

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:44AM
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