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Care of the plant Platycerium bifurcatum or Elkhorn fern.

Care of the plant Platycerium bifurcatum or Elkhorn fern

The genus Platycerium, family Polypodiaceae, includes 17 species of ferns native to New Guinea, Australia, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, South America, and Africa. Some species are: Platycerium bifurcatum, Platycerium alcicorne, Platycerium grande, Platycerium superbum, Platycerium hillii.

Common names: Elkhorn fern, Common staghorn fern. This species is native to Australia.

They are tropical epiphytic ferns that reach 1 meter in diameter and 60 cm in height. The leathery leaves (fronds) are flat, light green in color and shaped like deer horns. They do not produce flowers.

They are used in pots as indoor and greenhouse plants. In tropical climates they are grown on walls and trees by covering the roots with sphagnum moss and tying them to a piece of tree bark.

The Platycerium bifurcatum needs a well ventilated shade exposure and average temperatures of 20-25 ºC.

The soil can be a mixture of sphagnum moss, leaf mulch, and peat.

Water by immersion in lime-free water for half an hour once a week; in summer water twice a week. They need high humidity: periodically spray the leaves with lime-free water, especially in summer.

Fertilize once a month with mineral fertilizer in spring and summer.

They do not need pruning.

Propagation from spores is a very complicated process. It's advisable to propagate them by separating suckers planted in a mixture of peat and sphagnum.

Images of the plant Platycerium bifurcatum or Elkhorn fern

Platycerium bifurcatum
Platycerium bifurcatum
Platycerium bifurcatum
 

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