Saving My Staghorn Fern
I need help. A beautiful 5-year-old staghorn fern was recently stolen from my backyard (along with some other plants) and I'm heartbroken. I do have another, much older one - at least 25 years - but it's not in very good shape. It only has growth on about 1/4 of its 24" base and this summer I noticed it was infested with GIANT reddish-brown ants. I had pretty much written it off, but now that my prize plant is gone it's urgent that I try to salvage this one.
Could someone please tell me if there's anything I can do to save this plant? How do I get rid of the ants? Should I try to propagate new plants? It's late in the season - nearly time to bring it inside for the winter - but I can't because of the ant infestation. Cold weather is coming soon, and there's no way it'll survive the winter outdoors (coastal NC).
This staghorn is very sentimental to me. It was given to my parents by a close friend in Florida, and thrived until they entrusted it to me a few years ago. Despite my best efforts, it's been slowly going donwhill ever since. I'd sure like to save it if I can.
Thanks in advance for any and all good advice!