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Whats the big deal with staghorn ferns?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by deweychop, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. deweychop

    deweychop Almost house broken

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    Naples FL
    Surfing the local craigslist I always see staghorn ferns selling for LOTS of money. Is it because they're hard to grow, are they rare, or because the big ones are really old and they grow slowly? I don't get it. I admit, I've seen large ones hanging from huge chains from live oak trees that I thought were impressive, but not $5,000 impressive.
  2. Posey

    Posey New Member

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    I have several you may buy if you are interested. :poke::evil:
  3. Kyle

    Kyle Member

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    Geographic center of Canada
    I got one last month. Its potted in moss in a basket. How do I keep it alive?

    Sorry for the hyjack...
  4. abaxter

    abaxter New Member

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    6B Southeast KY
    They are pretty and a large one is impressive, but I wouldn't spend any money on one. I've seen a couple of commercial orchid greenhouses absolutely covered with the little dudes. They reproduce like rabbits and most greenhouses consider them a pest.
  5. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Oak Island NC
    I was fascinated by them, and managed to get a Platycerium bifurcatum division while in grad school. Placed in a coco-fiber-lined 12" basket of sphagnum, it grew and grew, covering the whole thing, making it a "ball" about 5' in diameter. By the time I lost it to my "big freeze" in 1/94, it was 12' in diameter, and I had to suspend it from a metal pipe tripod.

    Angela is right, it's like having "Typhoid Mary" in a daycare center. The undersides of fertile fronds are not "dotted" with spore clusters like most ferns, but are literally covered with them, and soon you will be growing "companion plants" in every orchid - or other plant - pot you have. Their roots take over a pot and will kill the orchids.

    I put up with that when I had the big specimen - plucking babies was a routine part of all trips to the GH - but it just ain't worth it!
  6. Brant

    Brant dazed

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    Near the border
    $5,000 clams, that is crazy.

    i have tried and failed a few times to keep one alive.
    there is a house down the street that has one that's
    about 4' X 4' and looks happy. It survived a week of crap cold
    a few years ago with nary a frond missing and umpteen santa ana's, if there is a key to outdoor survival i have no clue.
  7. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    I've had one for i'm sure at least ten years. It went from a cute little 5" plant in a 3" pot to a semi-monster of at least 15 pounds with about a 4' spread. They seem very tolerant of things like terrible tap water and brutal 'Oklahoma' summers. Mine has also suffered with temps down to near freezing without skipping a beat. Haven't had any babies popping up in pots but I don't have a greenhouse either. I'm going to have to get rid of mine before much longer. I might rip it apart and try to sell the divisions and keep one.

    There is at least one pot burried in the fern ball somewhere, maybe two. I also have a couple of tillandsias that are pretty much incorporated into it. When they bloom it makes a nice display.