NOTE: Staghorn fern may be referred to as Platycerium bifurcatum in this article, in fact, those are the same plants, Platycerium bifurcatum is the botanical name for Staghorn fern.
Staghorn ferns are named because they look like deer or elk antlers. The plants are native to Asia and Australia and are part of the Polypodsiaceae family. There are 17 species of Platycerium, but only one, the staghorn fern, is common in home cultivation.
Why does my Platycerium bifurcatum roots have rot?
Root rot on your Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Staghorn fern have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
The solution is quite logical when you know the cause of the problem. Most of the time, it is due to overwater of the Platycerium bifurcatum. We advise you to remove the infected parts of the plant, cut off the infected roots and leaves, then repot your plant using sterile potting soil and a clean pot.
Why does my Staghorn fern have leaf spots?
We provide you with all the information you need to identify and save your plants if they display signs like leaves that suddenly change color or wilt/droop. This sort of sickness is one of the most aggravating for Staghorn fern owners.
Why are my Staghorn fern leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
Reduce your watering frequency when you fear your plants are being overwatered, and follow these steps to determine whether they may be lacking in nutrients:
Here are some signs of yellowing caused by the many deficiencies on the Platycerium bifurcatum in question:
- Yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves are the first sign of magnesium shortage. Veins continue to be green while the leaf’s core turns yellow. The leaf’s edges yellow last.
- Another indicator of iron deficiency is yellowing between leaf veins, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are first affected.
- The newest leaves are first affected by sulfur deficiency, rendering them completely yellow.
- Potassium deficiency shows itself when leaf edges turn bright yellow, but the inner leaf stays green. Older leaves show symptoms first, and leaf edges soon turn brown.
- A lack of nitrogen is indicated by a widespread yellowing. Older, inner leaves are the first to yellow. As the yellowing progresses, it eventually touches young leaves as well.
You only need to respond to the signs mentioned above. A gardening store expert will be able to provide you advice on how to purchase a specific soil to treat a potassium or nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, you can reduce how often you water your plants.
Is my Staghorn fern sunburned?
You can easily tell if your Staghorn fern (your Platycerium bifurcatum) has a sunburn. In this case, your plant will change color, starting to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
As we saw above, if your Staghorn fern receives too much water or not enough light, the leaves may also change color.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my Staghorn fern leaves turning brown?
Most of the time, leaves of a Staghorn fern that turn brown is a sign that your plant has been sunburned, it has probably been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Don’t panic, your plant probably won’t die from this, but its growth will take a hit.
Should I leave my Platycerium bifurcatum in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Platycerium bifurcatum (or Staghorn fern) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
As explained in the paragraph above, the solution is simple, just place your Staghorn fern in a place where the light does not reach it directly, in this way and with a correct watering, your plant should resume its life rather quickly.
Why are my Platycerium bifurcatum leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
An easy way to know if your Platycerium bifurcatum is lacking water is to under-weigh its pot, if it looks light, it means that the soil and the roots are probably quite dry, and therefore need water!
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the Staghorn fern after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is true, but the easiest way to end it is to give too much water at once. Instead, you should water the soil properly, returning to a peaceful watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Platycerium bifurcatum
Water is essential to the survival of your plant, however, it is important to balance the rate of watering. As we explained above, overwatering could have fatal consequences for your Platycerium bifurcatum.
You can tell if your plant needs water by touching the soil; if it still feels damp, it’s usually preferable to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It’s also a good idea to keep your Platycerium bifurcatum at a constant temperature, especially if it’s kept indoors. In general, at GreenShack, we suggest booking a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, keep your Platycerium bifurcatum away from radiators, air conditioners, and other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Staghorn fern Dust-Free
This one concerns indoor plants, just like on your furniture, dust is also deposited on the leaves of your indoor plants, the problem is that it can prevent them from receiving the necessary light, this would slow down (or even stop) the photosynthesis process, and eventually, they would lose their colors.
For your Staghorn fern, this would be a true descent into hell, and it would also appease the pests.
Take a microfiber cloth and gently massage the plant’s leaves to get rid of the dust. Use a damp cloth to make dust removal easier, but avoid using corrosive materials like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you tend to overwater, you need to pay attention to your drainage, and we advise choosing a saucer and a pot with drainage holes if they are not already there.
You can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the interim if your pots don’t already have holes in them. This will help to form a channel so that the water doesn’t pool there for too long (preventing the rot of the roots!).