25 Dec

Unusual, Tropical Fern for Your Garden: Platycerium

If you are in to collecting unusual plants, Platycerium should be in your top-ten list. This genus of unusual rather oddly-shaped ferns offers some extra ordinarily ornamental plants for both indoor and outdoor gardening. Native to tropical regions of Asia, Australia, South America and Africa, Platycerium require are epiphytic plants that usually grow on large trees. When growing these beautiful ferns at home, they can be grown indoors in hanging baskets in patios or near sunny windows. For growing outdoors, they would well against a tree or on wooden surface.

Platycerium, Tropical, Epiphytic Fern

Platycerium, Image by Michael Dawes

Platycerium produces basal and fertile fronds. Basal leaves are broad and kidney-shaped; they protect the root system and conserve water. Fertile leaves appear as the plant matures and take unusual shapes – usually broad and horn-shaped, thus getting the common name ‘Staghorn fern’.

Platycerium, like Air Plants, do not require soil. Most species grow as epiphytic plants and just require warm, well-lit and humid conditions to flourish. Provide them with regular water and sunny conditions. When in doubt, water sparingly as these plants can withstand drought and come back to life quickly as soon as they are hydrated properly.

Platycerium Bifurcatum

Platycerium Bifurcatum, Image by faroutflora.com

Leaves on a healthy Platycerium plant under suitable growing conditions can grow as wide as 1 meter – giving a very exotic touch to indoor and outdoor gardens.