AUG Exclusive Plant: 'Staghorn Fern' — Discover the Charm of Green Antlers
Have you seen a staghorn fern? If you have seen it, what's your impression of it? We’re 99% sure you’ll answer... 'antlers!!
This is no surprise; you might have encountered this beautiful plant in a cute coffee shop or restaurant, with its leaves resembling antlers and its growth on the wall creating an unforgettable sense of mystery and magic. Maybe you have yet to see it in person, but the staghorn fern's reputation is so well-known that you can’t help but be curious and want to see it first in the online world.
The charm of the staghorn fern extends beyond its resemblance to antlers. Read this article to discover more!
Plant Celebrity Born During the Pandemic
Do you remember the prolonged days of staying at home during the start of the pandemic in 2020?
During that time, many people developed a passion for cultivating small plants at home and sharing their green ‘plant children’ on social media. Some preferred flowering potted plants, while others enjoyed collecting various succulents and cacti. There were also people who became particularly fascinated by 'foliage plants' with unique leaf shapes and colors.
Among the diverse foliage plants, the staghorn fern stood out with its peculiar antler-like appearance and a wide range of available cultivars. It became a hot new favorite for many plant enthusiasts.
People treated them as collectible treasures, deliberately cultivating and showing them. Whether the delicate and elegant 'Alice staghorn fern' or the majestic and imposing 'giant staghorn fern,' their distinctive leaf shapes and structures make them beautiful focal points in any space. They are endlessly photogenic from every angle and boast incredible visual charm, making them immensely popular and turning them into trendy celebrities in the houseplant world.
A Collectible Worth Astonishing Value?
The exquisitely unique staghorn fern seems to have seamlessly integrated into our lives. Even if you don't have one at home, you can easily spot it in many chic restaurants, cafes, and exhibition spaces.
Have you ever gazed at one and felt a sense of healing, sparking the thought of trying your hand at growing one? Well, this piece of news from the beginning of the year might surprise you:
In February 2023, during an international staghorn fern competition, a buyer spent $200,000 in cash to collect the “P. willinckii 'Jenny'” setting a new global record for the highest-known sale!
What... the price of a single staghorn fern is equivalent to a sports car or several years' worth of income? Wait, don't panic just yet. That particular plant is a rare variety known as the popular 'platycerium willinckii dwarf,' and it already has dozens of lateral shoots, enabling it to propagate and greatly increase in value. So, the buyer may not only see it as a collectible but also as a potential investment.
The price of typical native staghorn ferns can range from $10 to $100 or even higher, depending on various factors such as variety, age, size, and board material. However, if you are not seeking rarity or future value and simply want to acquire a staghorn fern that you like, don't worry; you can certainly find one that best suits your preferences (and budget) among numerous varieties. Each staghorn fern exhibits unique beauty.
The Extraordinary Green Beast
Staghorn ferns are native to temperate and tropical rainforests in Africa, Asia, and Australia. They are epiphytic ferns, meaning they attach themselves to tree trunks or crevices to absorb organic matter and water from the surface.
Due to this unique mode of growth, which doesn't require nutrients from the soil, people can mount them on wooden boards or hanging objects, elevating staghorn ferns and making them stand out like an unmistakable green beast from afar. But as you get closer and become curious, you'll discover that the staghorn fern's extraordinary appearance is composed of two distinct types of fronds. Let's take a closer look and get to know them better!
The Reproductive 'Antler Fronds'
Different varieties of staghorn ferns possess a diverse array of antler-shaped fronds, including slender antlers, fan-shaped antlers, and wavy antlers, among others. These leafy structures not only serve as visual enchantments but also play a vital role in reproduction. They bear clusters of spore sacs on their undersides, also referred to as 'spore fronds.' When the spores mature, they are dispersed by the wind and can reproduce and grow in new, warm, and humid environments.
The Take-up Water and Nutrients "Basal Fronds"
The roots of the staghorn fern primarily serve the purposes of attachment and anchoring, while the task of nutrient absorption falls upon the specially evolved 'basal fronds.'
Just by looking toward the center of the staghorn fern, one can observe these leaves, which wrap and encircle the base in multiple layers. Their overall appearance is rounded, resembling a circular shield, and they are often referred to as 'shield leaves.' In some varieties, the leaf edges may even be fragmented or wavy, exhibiting a uniqueness that rivals the antler-shaped reproductive fronds.
Care Tips: Humidity / Indirect Light / Ventilation
Native to rainforests, staghorn ferns prefer warm, humid, and well-ventilated spaces, making them suitable for bright locations with indirect sunlight exposure. However, despite their love for humidity, be careful not to overwater them, as their shallow root system is susceptible to rotting. The best way to water staghorn ferns is by misting their fronds or allowing the growing medium to slightly dry out before thoroughly watering again.
Additionally, care adjustments are necessary based on the variety. For instance, the 'butterfly staghorn fern' goes into a dormant state during the non-growing season. At this time, only a minimal amount of water is required to maintain humidity. Avoid overwatering just because the fronds may appear slightly dry.
Another Way to Cultivate Staghorn Ferns
Having a staghorn fern hanging at home is undoubtedly a great choice, as it not only looks beautiful but also improves the humidity and air quality of the space it’s in. However, if you are not confident in caring for plants or find it difficult to choose from the various varieties, and you're unsure of where to start, then why not take advantage of the 'Plant Nanny' trial for 7 or 14 days until the end of August? By doing so, you can immediately unlock the exclusive plant 'Relaxed Staghorn Fern.'
Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can successfully grow a charming staghorn fern at your fingertips. Join this with water-loving plants to cultivate the hydration habit happily together!