Staghorn ferns look like deer or elk antlers, hence the unusual name, The ferns are in the genus Platycerium of the polypod family. These plants do the best growing in the semi-shade and do well in the fork on a tree. They can be mounted on boards or driftwood, and can hang in a large basket on a large tree limb.
These bright green leaves are a nice addition to your gardens. When planting in a tree, wrap some fishing line to keep it in place. About six months later the fern should be attached to the fork on the tree. You can then take off the fishing line.
We have two huge staghorn ferns hanging from two large oak trees in our grassy area. We have one mounted on an oak tree in the Falling Waters Garden, and we just took the fishing line off of a Ligustrum tree that has three staghorn ferns mounted in the fork of the tree. These ferns are all drought resistant.
They are located at Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts. Visit sarasotagardenclub.org.
Submitted by Kay Weber, Botanical Gardens Chair