Staghorn Ferns – A Desired Exotic Beauty


Hooray, spring has arrived! Allow yourself to be swept up in all the blossoming joy and bliss coming to life in your garden. Heritage Day falls on 24 September and doubles up as National Braai Day. A family braai is a fitting celebration of our culture and heritage, especially when surrounded by your own gorgeous garden. Another excuse to plan a braai or even a picnic in the garden would be on Sunday 11 October – Garden Day. So garden-lovers, have loads of gardening fun and get your greens garden day ready.

Staghorn ferns (Platycerium bifurcatum) are one of those plants that most plant-lovers either have in their garden/home or wish they did. They have been described as the funkiest of ferns with an out-of-this-world appearance due to the drooping leaves, which resemble the horns of a stag. Although they look very majestic and regal when mature, they do look very funky as baby plants.

Did you know?

Staghorns love growing both outdoors and indoors in coastal and frost-free regions. Although considered indoor plants in the Highveld, they will grow in positions protected from the frost and cold winds outdoors, such as in evergreen trees or on sheltered patios and courtyards.

If the staghorn is already mounted on a log or piece of driftwood, you can place it on a table or hang it on the wall. You can also grow the young plant in its original pot, however, it will later tend to become heavy on the side that the plant hangs over and unless secured will want to topple over. A fun project would be to make your own mounting board. To do this, take a piece of wooden board, about 15cm x 15cm and:

  • Remove the staghorn from its pot and add the sphagnum moss behind the basal leaves and over the roots.