Staghorn Fern

Staghorn fern actually bears both cup- and antler-shaped fronds. See more pictures of ferns.

Staghorn fern produces two very different types of fronds. The cup-shaped sterile ones at its base are used to grip onto branches in the wild. The fertile fronds are shaped like antlers and are covered with white felt, giving the leaf a silvery appearance.

Ferns Image Gallery


In cultivation, this plant is usually grown suspended on a piece of wood or in a hanging basket. It is best watered by dunking the entire plant in a pail of tepid water.

Staghorn Fern Quick Facts:

Scientific Name: Platycerium bifurcatum

Common Names: Staghorn Fern, Elk’s Horn Fern, Elephant Ears

Light Requirement for Staghorn Fern: Bright Light

Water Requirement for Staghorn Fern: Drench, Let Dry

Humidity for Staghorn Fern: High

Temperature for Staghorn Fern: House to cool

Fertilizer for Staghorn Fern: Balanced

Potting Mix for Staghorn Fern: All-Purpose

Propagation of Staghorn Fern: Division

Decorative Use for Staghorn Fern: Hanging Basket, Table

Care Rating for Staghorn Fern: Easy

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Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer working out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He’s the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s 2006 Garden Media Award.