How to Buy Staghorn Ferns


The broad, dark green leaves of the staghorn plant (Platycerium bifurcatum)--a fern native to the tropical jungles of Madagascar--can add an exotic element to your garden. Unlike most ferns, the staghorn doesn't grow in the soil but instead thrives on the wood of trees or light organic material like moss. You can buy staghorn ferns from a limited number of sources, depending on your location.

Step 1

Prepare for the staghorn fern. The University of Florida recommends growing the ferns in a wire basket filled with peat moss. Alternatively, gather pieces of wood and wire. Once you have the ferns, attach them to the wood with the wire, after which the ferns will cling to the wood and grow.

Step 2

Purchase the staghorn ferns from a fern specialist in your city or town. This is ideal for healthy specimens, and is often cheaper than buying ferns via the Internet or mail. Obtain referrals to a staghorn fern specialist in your area through the American Fern Society (see Resources), one of the largest associations for fern enthusiasts in the world.

Step 3

Obtain staghorn ferns from a national nursery that ships staghorn ferns via mail. This is ideal if you don't have a fern specialist in your area, or if you want large quantities of staghorn ferns. Example nurseries include Madagascar Tropicals and the Fern Factory. Additional referrals may often be obtained through local nurseries.

Step 4

Check the classified ads. Sometimes, nurseries and hobbyists try to unload excess ferns at discounted rates. Note that such plants may sometimes be in less than optimum health.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ordering staghorn ferns via mail order is often much more expensive than obtaining them locally, as the cost of shipping the plants can add significant fees to the starting price.


  • University of Florida: Staghorn Ferns at a Glance
  • "Peterson Field Guide to Ferns, 2nd ed.;" Elizabeth Farnsworth, et al; 2005
  • American Fern Society

Who Can Help

  • Garden Guides: How to Grow Staghorn Ferns
  • Fern Factory
  • Madagascar Tropicals
Keywords: Staghorn fern, buy fern, Staghorn plant

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.