Staghorn Ferns

Regrowth of antler fronds, staghorn fern

Zone Eastern midatlantic | Bonsaied added on December 27, 2016 | Answered

Our fern lost its two antler fronds for mysterious reasons this fall. They were green and firm, no black spots or other signs of overwatering, only the slightest brown at tip on one from the summer. We brought it inside for winter, before low temps hit, but haven't noticed any new growth. Is this normal, and how can we check its health with missing fronds? Can it survive? It was growing well and even had a pup formed prior to this sudden drop. Please help!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 27, 2016

Your fern may be responding this way because of the change from outdoor to indoor conditions. However, I think it is normal for them to lose a few fronds once in a while.

Staghorn ferns can be sensitive to the chlorine in tap water, especially if they've been watered by the rain outdoors. Try adding filtered water or tap water that's been left out for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate. This plant also prefers a moderately humid environment, so if the air is too dry, try misting it often or adding a humidifier. Here is more information:

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