Staghorn fern no shield frond – House Plant Journal

Staghorn fern no shield frond

Plant: Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)

How long have you had the plant? 1 to 6 months


One of the lower leaves turned yellow and as I tried to remove it, 3 small leaves came with it. It does have roots though.

I have no idea what to do, so in the meantime I planted it in the correct soil, however it does not have any shield fronds. Is this a problem?

Light Situation:

The plant only receives indirect light.

How do you determine WHEN to water? I wait for the soil to become about halfway dry

Describe HOW you water: fully soak the soil and bottom-watering

What fertilizer (if any) do you use? I recently started using worm castings

Soil Situation:

Darryl’s Analysis

Environment | Effort | Expectations
At this distance from a window this size, I would estimate the indirect light levels to be 50 to 100 FC most of the day, which will not be enough to produce satisfactory growth of a staghorn fern.  You might be able to get in the 200-400 FC range right in front of that window without the curtains.

Your watering strategy sounds good for this plant.

The pup looks fine – it does not require a shield frond initially as long as there is a good root system.  With good light (at least above 200 FC most of the day) and watering/fertilizing, a new shield frond will grow but it will take several months before it appears.  Be patient – when I first mounted my staghorn fern, a new shield frond didn’t start growing until 3 months later at 400-800 FC light levels (I had a skylight).

Here’s a detailed video about staghorn fern care.

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