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Staghorn Ferns

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Also known as elkhorn ferns, staghorn ferns are members of the genus Platycerium, and they include species that hail from the temperate and tropical areas of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Guinea. Like air plants, staghorn ferns are epiphytes. They cling to trees and rocks in their natural habitat, pulling moisture and nutrients from rainfall and the air. You might think that they would stay small with such habits, but they can get truly massive, growing to several feet across and over a hundred pounds! Your home is most likely a very different environment than their native jungles, so they’ll grow slowly, and need special care indoors (see below). The ASPCA lists the common staghorn fern as non-toxic to dogs and cats, and its wall-mounted habitat means that this plant might be a good choice for you if you have one of those pets who won’t leave accessible plants alone.