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A picture of a Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern

Platycerium spp.

Also known as

Elkhorn Fern, Antelope ears

Platycerium ridleyi by Dmitriy Konstantinov (CC BY 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








More images of Staghorn Fern

A photo of Staghorn Fern
A photo of Staghorn Fern
A photo of Staghorn Fern
A photo of Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern Overview

Platycerium is a genus of about 18 epiphytic fern species from the family. Commonly known by the names Staghorn Fern or Elkhorn Fern, this references the evergreen fronds that resemble a stag's horns. They are native to tropical and temperate areas, producing two types of foliage. They are either heart-shaped (if sterile) or branched (if fertile). Oddly shaped, these ferns grow on trees and rocks and are commonly cultivated in tropical gardens, where they are grown for their elegant foliage. They do not produce flowers, but reproduce via spores that are formed on the underside of the antler-like leaves.

Common problems with Staghorn Fern

The plant is prone to the fungal disease black spot, do not water over the foliage and minimize humidity indoors to prevent the disfiguring spores. Scale insects can also be a problem.

Staghorn Fern Companion Plants

Can be mounted into various trees.

How to propagate Staghorn Fern


Detach plantlets produced from root tips or runners as soon as nests have formed.


Sow spores when ripe (brown) on well draining medium.


You can propagate by detaching buds in the spring or summer and planting in compost.

Special features of Staghorn Fern

Indoor plant

Plants need bright indirect light and moisture to thrive.

Pot plant

Mount on a piece of wood or in a basket, add a little mound of peat, compost or other organic matter piled up under the plant, tie the plant onto the growing medium with panty hose or plant strips.

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Staghorn Fern


Grown for their unusual fronds in trees or mounted on plaques and hung indoors.

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