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Staghorn Fern- care of????

Posted by organic_dusty 9 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 5, 09 at 18:25

I just received a Staghorn pup from a friend at work. It is mounted on a piece of wood and hangs from a wire. Any suggestions on how to take care of this? Someone told me they like stale beer and some sort of Epsom bath?? Any help will be greatly appreciated:)

Thank you in advance,


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Staghorn Fern- care of????

Common Stags are easy. 50% shade, good air circulation. When the moss on the wood is just dry submerge the whole plant in a big bucket of water, let it soak for a minute, then hang it back where it came from. They're kinda hard to grow indoors. Protect from frost. Watch for scale.
Have fun.

RE: Staghorn Fern- care of????

Hi Houston,
I grow all my staghorns outside under 70% shadecloth year round. They like bright filtered sunlight or light shade. Most of the year they require deep watering once a week, and I use a hose and soak them. During hot weather, or warm windy weather they dry out faster, so you want to soak them 2 and even 3 times a week. You don't want the roots to go completely dry. Feel the base of your moss and if it feels dry water it. If the fronds are starting to yellow, you are watering it too much. Play with it.

How large is the piece of wood it is mounted on? If it is a prefessional size piece with a good amount of moss it can go longer between waterings, but if you only have a small amount of moss it will obviously dry out faster.

Years ago I bought one that was a cluster of them mounted on a tiny cylinder of moss. It wasn't much larger than an empty tube of TP. Huge mistake, as it started to grow and within a year I had to separate it and mount them on regular size pieces of wood. It kept drying out too fast and I lost some of them.

I have not heard of using beer or epsom salts. You can use some diluted Miracle Grow in water with a high nitrogen content, and soak them in it occasionally, but they truthfully will do just fine on their own. Too much fertilizer can burn a fern, so err on the side of caution. They are not terribly fussy, although most people think so.

I have friends who consider banana peels helpful, but I grow a great many staghorns and they require little work. Have fun with it and watch it grow. Just avoid direct hot sun in summer. You are hot there where you are I imagine, like where I am in So California.

An avid fern lover

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