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Cultural Notes – Elkhorn Ferns

CULTIVATION: Staghorns and Elkhorn ferns are quite unlike any other ferns and are a unique and remarkable plant to grow. In their usual habitat they grow on rocks, cliff faces and trees feeding on fallen debris, bird droppings and nutrients from the air and rain. They are enjoyed in gardens by hanging from a tree, post or timber board at eye level.
CLIMATE: Species occur naturally from tropics to cooler southern parts of Australia, They prefer a filtered light position or  morning sun (Easterly aspect) with shelter from hot afternoon sun and wind. Light frosts are tolerated. Larger established plants can handle more sun. dry.
SOIL: These plants are not generally grown in the ground or pots unless a new ‘plantlet’ is detached from the mother plant and raised in a pot with compost rich planting soil. Sphagnum moss is beneficial for placing behind the fern when mounting on boards etc to help retain moisture and to fill any gaps and will help the plant establish.
WATERING: hese plants only require regular watering during hot weather in warm areas, In cooler climates minimal watering is required. During winter they can be kept.
FERTILISING: Liquid organic fertilisers can be applied monthly during  warmer weather but not essential to plant health. Apply to backing of fern or by foliar feeding. Blood and bone can be sprinkled lightly from above into the fronds in Spring and Summer, water in well.
PRUNING: In general Elks and Stags will not require any pruning unless for shape and size. Old fronds which have begun to perish can be pruned out for appearance but will eventually drop off naturally.
PESTS/DISEASES: Generally pest free but keep protected from snails and slugs.For specific information or advice please contact us at Brenlissa Nursery for expert help. WE WISH YOU MANY YEARS OF ENJOYMENT FROM YOUR NEW BIRDS NEST FERN!