Platycerium grande

Giant staghorn fern identification table

One spore patch Two spore patches Frills around growth bud Thick, spongy, sterile fronds
P. grande NO YES NO NO
P. holttumii NO YES NO YES
P. superbum YES NO NO NO
P. wandae NO YES YES NO
Telling the four giant staghorn species apart can be a bit confusing. When immature, all four species look more or less identical to one another. The adults, however, differ from each other in four key aspects. I hope this table helps.

So, Platycerium grande can be identified by having two spore patches, no frills around the growth bud, and thin papery sterile fronds

Binomial nomenclature: Platycerium grande

Origin: Philippines

Description: This large fern produces enormous sterile fronds, like a large battle shield, with forks off of the top edge. The fertile fronds have two lobes with long fingers hanging down off of their lower edge. In between those two lobes, on the underside of the frond is a large spore patch. Each fertile frond also has a second spore patch located on the lower side of a large triangular lobe.

Size: This plant is one of the four "giant" staghorns. The fertile fronds can reach lengths of 6'. The spread across the top of the sterile fronds can be 6' as well.

Temp/zone: P. grande prefers temperatures to be above 600:F. It will survive short periods of colder temperatures. Damage will begin to occur below 400:F

Light: Bright filtered shade.

Water: Water regularly, but don't keep it too wet. This species likes high humidity.

Fertilizer: I fertilize all of my staghorn ferns with dilute (half strength) orchid fertilizer, once a month during the spring and summer. Many people put banana peels on top of their staghorn fern. I have found that this only serves to invite insects and rats to your plants, and I haven't found it to be of any benefit.

Cultivation: This fern, prefers to be mounted on a sphagnum covered wood plaque. P. grande does not do well growing on a hanging basket. None of the giant staghorn ferns produce "pups", so asexual reproduction is not possible with these species.

Pests: Scale and mealy bug, sometimes attack P. grande. I use imidacloprid (Bayer, rose and shrub)