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How to Care for a Staghorn Fern

The keen-eyed plant fans among you may well have spotted already that there’s a new botanical on the block here at TLB. Let’s say g’day to the magnificent Staghorn Fern! We’re so excited to add this Australian beaut’ to our collection and we think you’re going to love him as much as we do. You may also want to know how to Care for a Staghorn Fern – so we have the answers for you!

When you decide to ‘add to basket’ you’ll know just how to keep your new Australasia specimen happy and healthy.

This impressive botanical has two distinct types of fronds; the most prominent being the ‘antler’ frond that inspires his name. These fronds are large, green and slightly fuzzy to the touch, you’ll see them growing from the centre of the plant in a distinctly antler-like fashion. His second type of fronds are small and flat and they grow at the base of the plant. They are known as shield fronds because they cover the root ball and take up nutrients and water for the plant.

How to Care for a Staghorn Fern

The care requirements of a Staghorn Fern are not too taxing. Whilst we probably wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s low maintenance, once you get to grips with his needs, we’re sure you’ll be glad that you did. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning visual display, sure to bring a smile to your face.

When thinking about the care of a Staghorn Fern it’s key to bear in mind his natural habitat and growing conditions. Namely, he grows in the warm climes of Southeast Asia and Australia, on the side of a tree in the shade of a leaf canopy. If you can mimic these conditions as much as possible in your home then you’re sure to have yourself a flourishing fern.

How much light does my Staghorn Fern need?

As we said above, when growing in the wild, the Staghorn Fern is shaded by a leaf canopy and so he will be happiest in your home in a shady spot with dappled sunlight. He would also cope in a brighter spot if he is kept well-watered. However, be sure to avoid direct sunlight as this could scorch his fronds.

How much water does my Staghorn Fern need?

As with most houseplants, ensuring your Staghorn gets the right amount of water is a key element of the care routine to ensure your plants stay healthy. Your Staghorn Fern will need water about once a week in the summer months and less frequently during the winter; approximately once every 2 to 3 weeks. For best results, water your Staghorn Fern through the roots. To do this, remove him from his decorative pot and stand him in shallow water in a sink or bath. Let him absorb the water for up to 20 minutes and then allow him to drip dry before popping him back in his pot.

Does the Staghorn Fern like humidity?

Yes! Staghorn Ferns are native to warm and humid environments and will thrive in similar conditions in your home. To provide your Staghorn with the humidity he craves, consider placing him in your bathroom or kitchen. Here you will find that humidity levels are naturally higher than in other areas of your home. You could also consider using a humidifier or making him part of a plant gang as plants placed together will act as humidifiers for one another through a natural process called transpiration.

What temperature will my Staghorn Fern like best?

Staghorn Ferns prefer warm conditions, so aim to keep the temperature above 12.5 ˚C. Your fern will tolerate temperatures up to 30 ˚C; we did say they like warmth!

Should I feed my Staghorn Fern?

Your Staghorn Fern will go through a growing phase during spring and summer. He will benefit from being fed regularly during this time. We love Plantsmith Fortifying Houseplant Tonic, a complete blend of 13 essential nutrients and kelp extract to promote stronger leaves and stimulate cell growth.

He will not need any plant food in the winter.

Shop the Staghorn Fern at The Little Botanical

Staghorn Ferns are a truly eye-catching and unique houseplant. He will bring magnificent texture and interest to your indoor jungle with his stunning elongated fronds that can grow to impressive lengths.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to elevate your interior style with this impressively masculine plant.

Choose from one of our signature ceramics, pop him high on a shelf and enjoy the gorgeous green view.

Fun Facts

The Staghorn Fern gets his name from his distinctive leaves, known as fronds, which resemble the antlers of a deer.

The Staghorn Fern may well establish himself as the alpha among your fern collection as he can grow up to 3 feet wide!

In their natural habitat, these ferns grow on the side of trees and this can be replicated in your home by mounting your fern on a plaque and putting it on the wall for the ultimate in indoor living art.

The Staghorn Fern is also known as an Elkhorn Fern, Australian Elkhorn Fern and Antelope Ears.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Staghorn Fern

How often should I water a Staghorn Fern?

During the summer water your fern about once a week and in the winter water him about once every 2 to 3 weeks. The soil should be left to dry out in between waterings.

The best way to water your Staghorn Fern is through the roots. Remove him from his decorative pot and place him in shallow water in the sink or bath for 10 to 20 minutes. Let him drip dry and then pop him back in his pot.

Why are the tips of my Staghorn Fern turning brown?

If you notice the tips of your Staghorn Fern turning brown, this is often a sign of underwatering. Wilting fronds are also an indication that your plant isn’t getting enough water. Aim to water your Fern more often – approximately once a week during the summer.

Why are the leaves of my Staghorn Fern turning brown/black at the base?

Leaves turning black or brown at the base of your Staghorn Fern is a sign of over-watering. Staghorn Ferns need water approximately once a week in the summer but always make sure the soil has dried out in between waterings.

Are Staghorn Ferns pet friendly?

Yes, they certainly are, hurray! Great news for the plant and pet parents among you, right? If you’re concerned about choosing plants that are safe for your furry friends, we’ve taken the worry out of it for you, check out all of our pet-friendly houseplants.

Should I remove the brown fronds and the brown fuzzy shield from the base of my Staghorn Fern?

Absolutely not! Although it may seem strange to leave brown bits on a houseplant, in the case of the Staghorn Fern, these are really important for his overall health. The shield fronds start green but they turn brown and harden as they mature to form a protective ‘shield’ around the root ball and they also absorb nutrients and water that the plant needs. The brown ‘fuzz’ that grows at the base is how the plant reproduces. Removing either of these will make for a rather unhappy Staghorn Fern!

Having read this little introduction, we do hope you’re as excited as we are about the new member of our plant family. If you still have questions about this impressive beauty, please do drop us a line at [email protected]. And once your Staghorn is settled in your home, we’d absolutely love to see some pics. Give us a tag over on insta; @thelittlebotanical.

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