Staghorn Fern – How to Grow Indoors and Outdoors

Staghorn Fern Species (A-Z)

1. Platycerium alcicorne


P. alcicorne may be found in Madagascar and the Seychelles as well as parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe. Its easily identifiable fronds twist and turn in seemingly random directions.

This allows light and air more freely to flow, while still being able capture moist leaf litter when it falls.

It can be grown outdoors because of its size.

2. Platycerium, andinum

Platycerium andinum has a trailing habit, with heavy, drooping fronds that hang down from branches in humid rainforests


P. andinum, also known by staghorn Ferns, can be found in South America. ‘Blake’It has a trailing habit and heavy, drooping hairs that hang from branches in humid rainforests.

Its basal leaf do most of its work and are well-designed so that they capture moisture. They will need regular watering and rain access if they are to be grown outside.

3. Platycerium Angolense

P. angolese is a native of central Africa and can be found wild in Queensland. These ancient plants can adapt well to dry climates that receive less rainfall.

Their massive ringed leaves can reach 2m when they are exposed to dappled sun. They prefer to attach themselves to mature trees where they can get water. If left to their own devices, they can grow brown fertile hairs in hot environments. They recover quickly each spring.

4. Platycerium bifurcatum

P. bifurcatum should always be identified while it’s still spring. The spores leave a thick, rusty-coloured mat of pustules on every fertile frost, leaving a crisp line from the tips to each leaf’s base.

Their palm-shaped, dark orange basal leaves give them a unique shape that will add an exotic touch to any tropical garden.

5. Platycerium coronarium

P. coronarium, a staghorn fern that is 4m long and has rigid basal leaves that stick up in the air, is one of the most difficult.

It will happily colonise in South-facing tree trunks but it looks its best when it’s cultivated on planks on patios. Regular watering with a hose is a good idea for this area.

6. Platycerium ellisii

P. allisii’s fronds are smaller and more suitable for balconies and houseplants. It can also grow in moist, poor compost or in kokedama.

7. Platycerium grande (Giant Staghorn Fern)

Platycerium grande are also called the giant staghorn fern, or lion’s cape


Also called the giant staghorn fern, or lion’s cape, this beastly plant is nothing if not awe inspiring. These giant plants are a must for any tropical garden. These plants have large, sterile and dramatic, fertile leaves that tumble down trees. They can also take more sunlight than other plants.

8. Platycerium hillii

P. hillii can also be grown as a houseplant, due to its slow growth and small size (about 1mx1m). The blue-green fronds are perfect for adding native leaves to your garden.

9. Platycerium holttumii

P. holtumii is the most common cultivated staghorn fern. It is a formal fern with a flat top and dense trailing fronds. The colors can vary depending on the environment.

By far the most reliable way to cultivate this Malaysian fern is by filling timber pallets with moisture retentive materials and hanging the entire thing from a wall, giving you much more control over this sturdy plant’s care.

10. Platycerium madagascariense

Platycerium madagascariense are easy to grow in most conditions, and can grow well in bark chippings with some soil mixed through


It is difficult to guess the country of origin for Platycerium Madagascariense. The bulbous basal leaf has an alien appearance with its deep ridges, and short fronds at its top. They also have a brighter color.

They can be grown in any environment and can thrive in bark chips mixed with some soil.

11. Platycerium quadridichotomum

Platycerium quadridichotomum is easy to grow, but not the most spectacular fern in the world


P. quadridichotomum is a simple fern to grow, but it is not the most spectacular. Its dull fronds and typically brown basal fronds can be useful for naturalising a garden, but if it is impact you’re after, go for something slightly bigger and bolder.

12. Platycerium ridleyi – Ridley’s Staghorn Fern

P. ridleyi, however, is the only plant capable of achieving such bizarreness both indoors as well as outdoors. The globular rootbase is made of many basal leaf that cling tightly on to the roots.

This acts as a mulch that is self-produced to retain moisture. It protects them from sunlight. Its fronds are also resistant to brighter environments, making them an ideal choice for most Australian garden settings.

13. Platycerium stemaria (Triangle Staghorn Fern)

Platycerium stemaria is one of the bigger staghorns you can realistically grow in an average Australian garden


This staghorn measures 1.5m in length and is the largest you could realistically grow in an Australian backyard. The thick blue fronds have beautiful grass-green basalhairs and are finely powdery.

This traps rainwater and protects lower leaves from the elements. It grows well on living trees, or old timber, so it’s fairly simple to propagate at home.

14. Platycerium superbum

To be clear, this is pronounced Superb-Um, not Super-bum, but let’s face it, 99% of gardeners use the latter because it’s more fun.

This huge, double-sided, staghorn Fern is a native of Australia. It can attach to dead or live trees equally happily with its trailing and upright fronds.

You can water it once a weeks if it is growing on a covered patio or veranda.

15. Platycerium veitchii (Silver Staghorn Fern)

Platycerium veitchii commonly known as the silver Staghorn Fern


This species is also known by the silver Staghorn Fern, a native Queensland plant. It can grow indoors as well as in cooler climates.

It’s not frost hardy, so should be protected in that respect, but will cope with most conditions around the country. P. veitchii is a small plant that measures less than 1 m in its largest size, making it ideal to grow on balconies.

16. Platycerium wallichii

P. wallichii can be found in Southeast Asia. It is easy to grow in Australia. Young plants can be tied to trees or painted with spores. You can also use boards and containers.

Its dimensions are approximately 1m x 1m in all cases. The fronds are green throughout most of the year.

17. Platycerium Wandae is a Queen Staghorn Fern.

Platycerium wandae is insanely simple to grow whether it’s in a pot, on a tree, or strapped into a fern plank


Sometimes you find a plant you like and fall in love. P. Wandae was that plant for you. Its clumsy form and bulbous spread make it utterly adorable, with foliage that’s crying out to be watered. P. wandae is insanely simple to grow too, whether it’s in a pot, on a tree, or strapped into a fern plank.

18. Platycerium willinckii and Java Staghorn Fern 

This genus is well-known for its Java Staghorn species. Its sturdy, long fronds look like pointed fingers reaching out into the open.

It can grow well on walls and fences, trees, planks, and any other surface that can be convinced it to root. When indoors, the Java native plant does NOT require watering.

Staghorn Fern – How to Grow Indoors and Outdoors

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