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Ferns/sick staghorn in Orlando



a year ago this was a stunning vibrant specimen (in a different location). I relocated it to our front yard and hung from a tree. Since then it has steadily declined altho another specimen on an adjacent tree is thriving. It appears to be getting new leaves but it doesn't look anything like it did a year ago or even two months ago. It only gets watered from rain and a once a week sprinkler system which I think only reaches the bottom of the rootball - not sure if water is making it into the opening of the ball at the top.

Cheryl hi;

I do not think your staghorn is sick.

In light of the recent lack of rain and the fact that it is so heavily wrapped around itself, I would not be surprised if it is lacking water and nutrition.

In my opinion, it is time to take divisions from this staghorn and repot or remount them (there are plenty of online resources, but I can direct you, if needed.)

When the plant is free hanging like that, eventually it will run out of resources and room to grow.  I believe that is what is going on.

Let me know if you need additional advice on how to divide or mount this specimen.



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Dan Carmi


I can answer all types of questions regarding ferns: their physiology, life cycle, taxonomy, culture (for both the professional and hobbyist), home and garden application and care, site suitability, and more. I can also answer questions in the fields of greenhouse production, foliage plants, and houseplant care, along with questions in the general field of ornamental horticulture. I may be able to identify fern and foliage plants by photo, but I am unlikely to be able to do it by description (though I will never turn down a challenge). I am not an expert in crop, field, and agronomic production. I am not an expert on annuals, perennials, tree & shrub crops.


I am a horticulturist with a formal education and twelve years experience in commercial fern and tropical foliage production. I also served as Adjunct Professor of Horticulture at Florida Southern College.

Florida's Nursery Growers and Landscape Association: current member and Action Chapter Board Member 2006-2008.

I have a BSc in Environmental Horticulture / Business from Florida Southern College, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Production.

Awards and Honors
FNGLA Action Chapter President's Award 2006-2007, numerous academic awards 2001-2005.

Past/Present Clients
Through my place of employment, I serve hundreds of commercial growers across the country and beyond.

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