March in Oregon…waking up on a Monday, pulling back the curtains with a sigh…its pouring down rain outside,the wind is whipping everything around, blowing the front gate open and rattling the windows. I would sell my soul for
a week in a tropical locale. I would even settle for subtropical.
I have to admit I am lucky though, I live in a world of garden shows, nursery greenhouses and wholesale flower markets.
Climate denial is just a short drive away on this dreary Monday.
Meet Platycerium Bifurcatum – commonly known as the Staghorn Fern. I plucked this last one from the display wall at the flower market and brought it home with me.
These amazing plants are native to Australia and New Guinea.
In their native environment Staghorn Ferns are found growing on trees, which makes for an easy
translation to an indoor container plant – a few slabs of wood make a cheap and environmentally friendly container – add
sphagnum moss and a few lengths of fishing line nailed in to hold the fern in place, and you are one step closer to the tropics.
These ferns are simple to care for, just hang them in a warm spot with indirect light, keep the moss moist and give them a misting once in a while.
As the name Staghorn might suggest, these plants dont need coddling or cooing. They dont bloom,so no fussing around
orchid style to coax a few weeks of glory from them. They just grow into a stunning sculpture, a little piece of Zone 10 in
the middle – or hopefully the end – of an Oregon winter.