Home Gardening Staghorn Fern Care Guide: How to Grow and Care for a Staghorn Fern

Staghorn Fern Care Guide: How to Grow and Care for a Staghorn Fern

by Gregory
3 minutes read

How to Grow and Care for a Staghorn Fern: A Comprehensive Guide


Staghorn ferns are unique and beautiful plants that are native to the rainforests of Australia and Southeast Asia. They are epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants, typically trees. Staghorn ferns have two types of fronds: antler fronds and shield fronds. Antler fronds can grow up to 90cm long and resemble deer antlers, while shield fronds are round and protect the plant’s roots.

Growing Conditions

  • Light: Staghorn ferns prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.
  • Humidity: Staghorn ferns require high levels of humidity. Mist them regularly or place them in a humid environment, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
  • Temperature: Staghorn ferns prefer average temperatures of around 20ºC in summer, falling to no lower than 16ºC in winter.
  • Water: Water your staghorn fern regularly, using rainwater or distilled water. You can either pour the water slowly onto the moss surrounding the roots, or immerse the whole rootball in water for five minutes and allow to drain.


Staghorn ferns do not need to be planted in soil. They can be mounted on a piece of bark or wood, or placed in a pot of moss or bark chippings.

  • Mounting: To mount your staghorn fern, take a piece of wood or bark and collect a good clump of moss from the garden. Soak the moss and set it on the mount, then place the fern on top of the moss so the shield leaves are touching the mount. Tie it in place with horticultural wire.
  • Potting: To pot your staghorn fern, fill a pot with moss or bark chippings. Place the fern in the pot and gently firm the moss or bark around the roots.


  • Fertilizing: Fertilize your staghorn fern every two to four weeks with a standard liquid fertilizer.
  • Pruning: Staghorn ferns do not need pruning. However, you can remove any brown or dead fronds.
  • Pests and Diseases: Staghorn ferns are relatively pest- and disease-free. However, they may be susceptible to scale insects. Remove these by hand with tweezers.


Staghorn ferns can be propagated by spores, division, or ‘pups’.

  • Spores: Propagating staghorn ferns by spores is a difficult and time-consuming process.
  • Division: To divide your staghorn fern, simply cut it in half with a serrated knife, ensuring there are plenty of fronds and roots on both halves.
  • ‘Pups’: ‘Pups’ are offshoots of the main plant. Gently remove these and plant them in a new pot or mount.


When buying a staghorn fern, make sure you have the right growing conditions for it. Always buy house plants from reputable suppliers.


Staghorn ferns are beautiful and easy-to-care-for plants that make a great addition to any home. By following the tips in this guide, you can help your staghorn fern thrive.

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