Deer horn fern

Deer horn fern

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Deer horn fern

Beautiful ferns, with an elegant bearing, and deer horn ferns are called in Latin platycerium, and come from the forests of Madagascar and Australia; in nature they behave as epiphytes, meaning that their roots do not sink into the ground, but into the few decomposed debris that can be found at the bifurcation of the branches of high trees.
In order to survive in these conditions the platycerium evolved, producing two different types of leaves; at the base of the head of leaves, which sprouts from a stubby rhizome, we find in fact sterile shield-shaped leaves, thick, slightly spongy, which cover the roots, to keep them moist; over time these roundish leaves tend to dry out, forming a species of thickened, almost spherical stem around the root system. Among the sterile leaves, in addition to water, debris from other plants often stop, which over time tend to form soil. The other leaves of the fern a deer Horn they are the fertile ones, the leaves to which the plant owes its common name: they are large, often arched, lobed, to form the structure of a large horned stage. The foliage, of a beautiful dark green, is covered by a thin film of hairs, similar to those present on the peel of peaches, which makes the foliage opaque.

Grow deer horn ferns

This plant is definitely suitable for apartment living, in fact it lives without problems in places that are not excessively bright, as happens with any fern; the particular film present on the foliage and the dark color, however, prevent the sun's rays from ruining the foliage that is hit, so even if we accidentally place our fern in an excessively bright place, it is unlikely that the plant will suffer seriously.
In winter it needs temperatures above 12-15 ° C, so already in September or October it must forcibly find a place in the house, because night temperatures start to be too low.
We place our platycerium in a large vase, not too deep, filled with soil for epiphytic plants, such as that for orchids. Often the plants of this fern are very large, while the root system is compact; for this reason it will be necessary to fill part of the vase with pebbles, to ensure that the weight of the foliage does not overturn it; in addition to this, it may be necessary to fix the plant to the pot with wire, to prevent the first shot of air from being removed from the incoherent soil. Proceed in general using a very thin metal wire, which must be made to turn around the plant, inserted into the vessel and taken out of the water drain hole, where it must be stopped.

Water the deer horn fern

As with most ferns, the life of this plant occurs in damp and cool places; to obtain a luxuriant and healthy plant it is good to water the soil at the base of the head of leaves, keeping it always slightly humid; It is also good to vaporize the plant often, especially in summer and when the heating or air conditioning system is active at home.
From March to September we can also supply fertilizer for green plants, every 12-15 days, in small doses.
Repotting occurs when the plant begins to be too large compared to the pot; we choose a container that is slightly larger than the one in which the plant is potted.
Periodically we remove the ruined or dried leaves, so as to favor the development of new foliage.

A very particular fern

The platycerium come from areas of the earth where the climate is not constantly humid, but with alternating wet seasons and completely dry seasons; in order to survive these plants have evolved in a particular way compared to other ferns, in fact they have a life cycle similar to that of succulent plants, or photosynthesis and the acid metabolism of succulent plants. This means that the platycerium can easily survive even in dry and arid conditions, closing the foliage stomata to prevent the water it contains from evaporating. For this reason these ferns are particularly suitable for living at home, since periods of drought, in which we forget to water them, do not lead to serious damage to the plant.