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Today, people rely not only on murals and wallpaper to brighten up a room, but also on plants in their homes.

And with staghorn ferns, that planting location has changed. People are now mounting the ferns on their walls!

This strategic location makes the house more earthy and blends into any interior.

So you can imagine how ugly a dying or golden fern would look perched on your wall, but don’t worry, we’ll help you save it.

This article addresses all the concerns you may have regarding your plant and how to fix any issues you may have with your plant.

Buy your Staghorn Fern here!


Why do people hang staghorn ferns?

A staghorn fernWhen young, these ferns do well in pots. However, keep in mind that when you bring a plant indoors, it should mimic its original environment.

In the wild, mature staghorn ferns grow on top of other plants. As such, you need to make the plants replicate the same indoors by mounting them.

This makes your staghorn fern excellent for hanging in your home.

How Do Staghorn Ferns Grow?

It is imperative that you understand that this type of fern is quite different from most other plants.

First, they are very picky and will react easily to adverse conditions. To grow a staghorn fern, make sure the environment is ideal and address any issues as they arise.

Second, leaves are not leaves per se, but leaves.

The main leaf is the antler leaf, hence the name deer horn, which grows in the center of the plant.

This leaf develops spores on the underside, these should never be removed. Unlike other plants that reproduce by seed and flower, staghorn ferns depend on these spores.

Surrounding the wood leaf are the guard leaves, which are hard and surround the base of the plant.

They protect the roots and also absorb water and nutrients to support plant growth.

The last part is the motte. Curiously, it performs the function of attachment to the host plant and therefore it is quite superficial since the plant depends on the leaves of its antlers for food.

Therefore, you should not overwater the plant, since the roots do not need a lot of water. If you water staghorn fern like any other plant, root rot is likely.

But we will come back to this later. For now, let’s focus on why your plant might be dying and what you can do about it.

How do you save a dying staghorn fern?

As a new staghorn fern gardener, you may mistake the plant’s natural changes for signs of death. If the leaves of the woods come out first, they are green.

However, as they continue to absorb water and nutrients, they begin to age and eventually turn brown.

At some point they completely dry out and guess what, that’s normal!

This does not mean that the plant is dead and you should never remove dead leaves. Leave them in place and give the plant time to recover.

However, there are some instances where you may need to troubleshoot to save your dying staghorn fern, such as:

  • pale leaves
  • Spots or spots on the leaves
  • Gold on the edges of the leaves.
  • Poor leaf development.
  • pest signs
  • collapse

If your plant is showing any of the warning signs above, staghorn fern may die as these are not natural stages in its life cycle, so you may need to step in and save it.

Buy your Staghorn Fern here!

Why is your staghorn fern collapsing?

As we discussed earlier, these plants don’t rely much on their roots except to support the plant.

However, if you don’t know that wood leaves are the most important element in maintaining plant health, it’s easy to overwater.

If you notice your plant slowly toppling over, you may want to reduce watering and try to save the plant from root rot.

The same is true if you see brown or black spots at the base of antler leaves.

If you like this article, check out our article on What Are the Benefits of a Boston Fern?

How can you control staghorn fern root rot?

You must first remove the affected leaves with clean equipment to prevent the rot from spreading to other parts of the plant.

Second, you need to reduce the amount of water you give the plant and give it a break to recover from overwatering.

Once the plant begins to show signs of recovery, you can start watering again, making sure to reduce the frequency to once a month and not drown out the roots and leaves of the woods again.

If the plant is growing in soil, make sure the soil dries out before watering the plant again. Continue to monitor plant improvement and adjust watering accordingly.

How to water your fern?

a moose hornStaghorn Fern requires misting and water to thrive.

To spray, you’ll need a spray bottle that can direct water to the underside of the antlers and protect the leaves, targeting the spores.

As for soaking, leave the fern in a container of water for about twenty minutes until the roots are completely saturated.

You can also keep the fern in water for a few minutes and remove it when the roots are full.

Remove the plant from the water and let the excess water drain out before putting it back in place.

Why is your staghorn fern turning brown?

Browning of the wood leaves followed by complete drying of the leaves is common in ferns as it is a natural part of their growth.

However, if the browning is only visible on the edges of the leaves, the fern may need a better location.

This is often due to the contact of the leaves with dry air. It can easily show up when the plant is near a heat source, window, air conditioner, or any other location that makes it susceptible to the weather.

In some cases, the darkening may indicate that the plant is not getting enough water.

control the temperature

Although these ferns can usually withstand cold temperatures, levels should never drop below 50 degrees, as this can damage the leaves.

Also, temperatures should not exceed 100 degrees, as this can scorch the leaves.

You want to maintain a temperature range between these extremes and avoid areas of the house that are too cold or too hot.

Also, keep ferns out of direct sunlight to prevent the fronds from being damaged by the sun.

For all gardeners, an article that might interest you is: How to grow asparagus fern from tubers.

How often should you water your fern?

Although overwatering is a big problem, don’t flood the plant and water less than necessary.

If you live in a hot region, you should water the plant at least once a week. If the temperatures are cool, it may escape once every two to three weeks. But wait, not yet.

The watering schedule also depends on other factors. If you live in a humid environment, for example, you water the plant less because the leaves can absorb water from the environment.

People who grow their fans in a bathroom can water a lot less. Other factors are light and temperature. If these are high, irrigation must be increased.

Remember to watch for signs of overwatering: browning or blackening at the base. If this is noticeable, reduce watering to once a month until the plant recovers.

If you notice the tips turning brown or wilting, increase the watering. It’s about finding the perfect balance.

If you need help watering your staghorn fern, try this Automatic drip irrigation kit.

Why is your staghorn fern infested?

Generally, staghorn fern does not serve as a host for pests.

However, when the plant does not have enough moisture or does not receive the proper care it needs, it becomes unhealthy and becomes an ideal host for pests.

In most cases, scales affect the plant, but mealybugs can also be found on the undersides of leaves.

How to fight mealybugs

You must first remove the affected leaves by cutting them with a clean knife so as not to damage the plant.

If the mealybugs are not numerous, you can rub them or even pick them up by hand. Follow up by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and applying it to the plant.

You can also try introducing insects like ladybugs to the plant to feed on scale insects in the larval stage.

If the numbers are moderate, you can try biological insecticides to kill the larvae. Keep in mind that these insecticides must be used often to be effective.

For a large number of insects, you can use botanical insecticides to get rid of the insects permanently.

Other Common Problems

Why does your staghorn fern have spots or spots on its leaves?

You should check to see if the plant has been affected by exposure to cold or if it has been overwatered.

Why does your staghorn fern have pale leaves?

Your plant may need more shade as the sunlight can scorch the leaves.

Why does your staghorn fern have small leaves?

The plant may receive low humidity or insufficient light. Try solving one or both of these problems and see how you react.

Final Thoughts: How Do You Save a Dying Staghorn Fern?

a green fernWith a staghorn fern, you need to understand what is part of its life cycle and what is not.

For the most part, your plant’s wood leaves dry out from time to time, allowing for greater growth.

However, anything that deviates from this norm, such as pests, is not part of the life cycle and must act quickly before the plant dies.

Happy gardening!

Before you go, here are some more related articles that I encourage you to read below to help you solve more of your gardening problems:

Can I grow ferns only in water?

How to keep Boston fern leaves from curling?

Why does your fern smell like fish and how to fix it?

Make homemade fertilizer for ferns

What is the ideal humidity for a Boston fern?

Buy your Staghorn Fern here!

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