Skip to content
How to save a dying staghorn fern

How to save a dying staghorn fern


Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) are renowned for their unique appearance and the ability to grow on trees, making them a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor plant enthusiasts. However, even the most resilient plants can face challenges. If you’re concerned about your staghorn fern’s declining health, this guide will provide you with expert advice on how to save a dying staghorn fern and bring it back to vitality.

Signs of a Dying Staghorn Fern

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s identify the signs that indicate your staghorn fern is in distress:

  • Wilting Fronds: Drooping or wilting fronds suggest inadequate water or root issues.
  • Brown or Yellowing Fronds: Discoloration of fronds can result from overexposure to sunlight or underwatering.
  • Dry or Brittle Fronds: Dry and brittle fronds are often a sign of low humidity or insufficient watering.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reviving a Dying Staghorn Fern

1. Assess the Fern’s Condition

Carefully examine your staghorn fern and remove any dead or dying fronds. Assess the overall health of the plant.

2. Adjust Watering Practices

Staghorn ferns prefer to be consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of the potting medium feels slightly dry.

3. Provide Proper Lighting

Place your staghorn fern in bright, indirect light. Shield it from harsh, direct sunlight that can scorch its fronds.

4. Increase Humidity

Staghorn ferns thrive in humid environments. Mist the fronds regularly or place the plant in a humidity tray.

5. Repot if Needed

If the plant has outgrown its container or the potting medium has become compacted, consider repotting it into a slightly larger container with well-draining soil.

6. Fertilize Sparingly

Feed your staghorn fern with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) once every 4-6 weeks.

7. Hang or Mount Properly

If your fern is mounted on a board, ensure it is securely attached and positioned to allow proper air circulation around the fronds.

8. Monitor and Be Patient

Keep a close eye on your staghorn fern’s progress and be patient. Growth and recovery may take time.

Useful Resources for Saving a Dying Staghorn Fern

  1. Gardening Know How – Staghorn Fern Care: A comprehensive guide to caring for staghorn ferns, including tips for reviving them.
  2. The Spruce – How to Revive a Staghorn Fern: Expert advice on reviving ailing staghorn ferns and ensuring their long-term health.
  3. Gardenista – Staghorn Ferns: A Field Guide: A resourceful guide to growing and maintaining staghorn ferns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I save a severely damaged staghorn fern?
    A: While it can be challenging, with proper care and attention, even severely damaged ferns have a chance of recovery.
  • Why are the fronds of my staghorn fern turning brown?
    A: Browning fronds can result from excessive sunlight exposure, underwatering, or low humidity.
  • How often should I mist my staghorn fern?
    A: Mist the fronds of your staghorn fern every 2-3 days to maintain adequate humidity levels.


With the right care and attention, you can successfully revive a dying staghorn fern and restore its vibrancy. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the recommended resources, you can enjoy the beauty of your staghorn fern for years to come.

Keyword: How to save a dying staghorn fern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *