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Staghorn Ferns

Q.Rescued sunburnt cold burnt elk horn help

Zone 3216 | Anonymous added on September 27, 2020 | Answered

Hi I have just been given a huge elkhorn with no mounting board. I am too scared to divide it until we become more familiar with each other. The tips of the upward reaching fern fronds are brown and crispy.

I am planning to mount it on a large piece of marine grade ply as tree fern slabs arent available anywhere here. Then I can stand it rather than hang it.
The whole base of the fern is approx 20 inches x 22 inches.

Should I cut the burnt bits Off? Do you think marine ply with spaghnum in the back is a good idea? I was planning to attach it with galvanised wire tied to galv nails. Does this sound like a good idea?

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 27, 2020

My research says it's best to leave the dead and damaged basal fronds on the plant to feed the fern as they decompose. It's OK to trim back the damaged parts of the trailing fertile fronds. Here's an article from the University of Florida that provides some details: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/staghorn-fern.html

As far as I can tell, your mounting plan sounds fine. Here's a helpful article: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/staghorn-fern/mounting-staghorn-ferns.htm Gardeningknowhow.com has quite a few articles on elkhorn/staghorn ferns that will help you with growing these unusual plants.

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