A rather remarkable plant is called a Staghorn Fern. The plant grows naturally in zone 9-10, and is an EPIPHYTE. That means the plant absorbs water and nutrients from the air. Thus, it needs no soil to grow.
The staghorn fern has two types of “fronds” (what might loosely be called leaves). The name ‘staghorn’ comes from the antler type fronds, which are most obvious. The other type of frond, the basal type, grows into a cup shape. this is where water and nutrients collect for the plant’s use.
How does the staghorn fern accomplish this miracle of growth without soil? It naturally grows in the crooks of trees. As water and nutrients flow down the outside of the tree, they collect in the basal fronds to feed the fern. They prefer growing in shady areas. To grow one, it is often best to use chains to support the plant, which can eventually weigh up to 300 pounds. Of course, in the process, the chains must be insulted from the host tree by encasing them in rubber hoses. But, the only regular care required is to provide water (misting works). An occasional banana in the basal fronds provides nutrients needed by the plant.
- Supporting a staghorn fern is the title of the article, they are an epiphyhe evergreen and absorb moisture and nutrients from the air and weight up to 100 to 300 pounds.
- There are various ways to hang your stagorn fern. With a chain, with an S hook, with wood. But it is very important to make sure the chain can hold the heavy weight as it grows can be very heavy.
- It is important that the staghorn fern has part shade. This plant gets its nutrients from the air. It can hang from a chain. You have to make sure its from a large tree and the chain is covered.
“Staghorn fern plants grow best in part shade to shady locations. Because they get most of their water and nutrients from the air or fallen plant matter, they are often hung on limbs or in the crotches of trees much like they grow in their native environments.”