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Thread: My staghorn fern looks unhealthy.

  1. #1

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    Hi everyone

    I purchased a nice staghorn fern about two months ago. About a week or so ago I noticed there was some decay along a few creases in several of the leaves. This has slowly grown so that each spot is about an inch long and 1/4" wide - the inside is white, while the border between the damage and healthy leaf is gray. The leaves overall seem to be a little limper and a slightly lighter green than they had been. Within the last few days the fuzz (trichomes?) on the surface of the leaves has disappeared, though the leaves are still covered with thousand of tiny white spots.

    The fern has eight leaves, the longest several of whice are about 18" long. There are several leaf buds visible, but there has been no growth since I've owned it. It gets bright but filtered light much of the day. I've fertilized the fern once or twice, and as my apartment has low humidity I try to mist it heavily every day or two and occasionally soak it for a while.

    I am an amateur at plant care and have no reason to believe I can fix the damage unaided. If anyone has experience with these ferns or any advice I would be thrilled to see it!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    I just joined this forum and noticed your message. I recently bought a staghorn fern but I have no prior experience with this fern species. However, what you describe (blanched spots) seems to be a fungal infection. If this is the case, you may want to stop misting the leaves temporarily, as this can promote the growth of the fungus. Fungal infections are very difficult to treat, especially on ferns and other plants with delicate leaves. If you plant is still alive, you may want to try spraying ONLY the affected leaves with a fungicide. Indoor plant fungicides are availabe at Lowe's/Walmart/Home Depot, though these are harsh and may severly harm ferns. You can buy some less harsh fungicide off of this website. If the infection does not subside, then your only hope for saving the plant is to cut off all affected leaves (or portions of affected leaves) with sterile (isopropyl alcohol washed) scissors and pray for the best. Hope this helps.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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