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Ferns/Leaves are curling at the ends


We have a number of large staghorns and recently two of them have been looking poorly and the ends of their leaves are curling, reminds me of curly leaf in fruit trees. Do you have a cure suggestion for me. Much appreaciated

Jenifer hi;

I appreciate the question and will do my best to help.

Unfortunately, there are several possible causes for this condition, including potential drought or salinity stress, insect damage, or even herbicide drift from nearby applications.  Generally, I do not expect this to be disease-caused, so it should be fairly treatable.

To get I better idea, I would need to see photos of the plant and the problem.  Ideally, I would need to see one of the whole plant in its surroundings, one of the entire leaf, and one close by under or over the leaf, especially if it appears to have hard or furry white spots or bumps.  It would also help if you could tell me more about the plants general setting in terms of sun, water, proximity to the ocean, frequency of fertilization, etc - any and all relevant variables which would help me assess the problem.

If you are not able to upload photos, please try to provide me a more detailed description of the problem and any conditions which may have contributed to it, and check under the leaves for the bumps or spots that I mentioned.  

I look forward to following up and providing you with a more detailed diagnosis.  At this point, all I can do is speculate.

Thanks again;



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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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