Staghorn Ferns
Q.

Staghorn ferns

Zone Wollongong NSW Au | Anonymous added on November 13, 2016 | Answered

I saw a staghorn at the local nursery with a maidenhair fern growing up from the inner circle. I would like to know whether this is safe for the plant and if they are symbiotic.

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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 13, 2016

A Staghorn fern would not be symbiotic. The combination that you mention seeing in the garden center was likely created for visual interest, but the Maidenhair Fern has a completely different growing condition than the Staghorn. They would not thrive together for any length of time.
There has been a big popularity in the art of Kokedama moss ball plantings. This pairing seems to me to be a representation of this technique.
Here are some links with more information.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/staghorn-fern/staghorn-fern-information.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/maidenhair-fern/maidenhair-fern-care.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/making-kokedama-moss-balls.htm

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