Platycerium Grande/ Bifurcatum / Veitchii
Native to Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia
Bright filtered to bright. Avoid low light. Avoid direct sun, except during winter.
18-24°C. Keep above 13°C. Above 21°C, increase humidity.
Higher. For extra humidity: mist 2 times per week to daily, place pot on moist pebbles in a tray, group with other plants, or, introduce a humidifier. Avoid water lingering on fronds.
Every 1-2 weeks. Water plentifully (spring-summer) and allow thoroughly moist potting mix to dry halfway or until fronds are droopy. Bottom-soak pots or mounting material for 15-30 minutes. Water more sparingly (winter) and allow barely moist mix to dry almost fully. Bottom-soak pots or mounting material up to 5 minutes. Sensitive to overwatering, and susceptible to root rot. Always check moisture level before watering. Aerate mix to improve its condition.
Once a month (spring-summer). Use organic houseplant fertilizer, according to packaging instructions.
Maintenance: Every 1-2 weeks, rotate plant to ensure even growth. Every 1-2 months, mist fronds heavily to free accumulated dust and inspect plant for pests, when doing so. Avoid wiping antlers, which damages moisture-absorbing felt-like hairs. Avoid removing ageing/decaying shields, which provide valuable nutrients. Trim brown or dried tips.
Potting and Repotting
As epiphytes, these do best either mounted to a support (rough bark or cedar board), or, planted in a wooden hanging basket.
- Remove plant from pot and shake off excess matter and spread roots;
- Wrap spongy root ball in a moist mixture of equal parts peat and sphagnum moss;
- Using strong cotton thread or fishing line, tie bundle securely around support, over fern shield, and in between antlers. Staple ends and remove excess thread/line.
- Keep bark and root mass moist until roots and sterile fronds adhere to, support and grown over thread/lines.
Alternatively, plant the fern in a small wooden, slatted hanging basket filled with equal parts peat and sphagnum moss. Once established, the plant will grasp the slats firmly.
Small plants may also be kept in pots.
Special Points/Common Problems:
- Droopy fronds and a lightweight plant suggest the plant is ready to be watered/soaked.
- Black fronds at the base may suggest overwatering.
- Brown or dried frond tips may suggest underwatering.