Group Title: Research report - Agricultural Research and Education Center - RH-1984-5
Title: Fertilization of Staghorn fern
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066526/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fertilization of Staghorn fern
Series Title: Research report
Physical Description: 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Poole, R. T ( Richard Turk )
Conover, Charles Albert, 1934-
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1984
Subject: Platycerium -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Ferns -- Fertilizers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 2).
Statement of Responsibility: R.T. Poole and C.A. Conover.
General Note: Caption title.
Funding: ARC-A research report ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066526
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71303234

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

.. R. T. Poole and C. A. Conover
University of Florida, IFAS
.dAgricultural Research Center-Apopka
'" o .--" Research Report, RH-1984-5

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum), also called Elk's-horn and
Antelope-ears, is one of the most magnificent ferns. These epiphytes have
large, fertile, spreading, drooping fronds forked into antler-like lobes.
The sterile fronds are rounded and shield-like, clasping the support on
which they grow. They are usually grown on tree fern trunks or on boards
supporting a clump of sphagnum Inss and can be propagated by spores-or
offsets. Research conducted with various fern species indicated 600 to
1200 lb N/A/yr from a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 6-1-3 would produce
maximum growth and that micronutrients have questionable benefit. Objec-
tives of experiments reported in this paper were to determine effects of
various nutrients on growth of Staghorn Fern.

Experiment 1. Fern sporelings, about 2.5 inches in length (longest
frond), were planted September 8, 1982 in 4-inch containers in a medium of
Florida sedge peat: pine bark: cypress shavings (2:1:1 by volume). Three
grams of 19-6-12 Osmocote were applied to each container (five grams is
about one level teaspoon). Plants were grown in a glasshouse, providing
1500 ft-c light maximum and irrigated as needed. Micronutrients, as listed
in Table 1, were applied September 9th. On December 15, 1982 the 2 longest
fronds were measured and plant grade determined. Boron, molybdenum and
iron were slightly beneficial, but the level of manganese used was
definitely detrimental. Earlier research has shown benefits of micronu-
trients to be questionable. The epiphytic nature of Staghorn Fern may
require different nutrition than terrestrial ferns previously tested.

Experiment 2. This test was also initiated September 8, 1982. Fqrn
were grown under the same conditions as Expt. 1 except that one lb/yd
Micramax was incorporated in the soil mix. Osmocote and dolmaite treat-
ments are shown in Table 2. Best ferns were produced at the lowest
level of Osmocote 19-6-12 with soluble salts of about 1,000 mmhos x 10 .
Levels of 1,500 mmhos x 10 and above decreased growth and grade as did
the high rate of dolomite.

Experiment 3. This test was initiated March 21, 1983 to study
response of Staghorn Fern to irrigation frequency, calcium hydroxide appli-
cation and fertilization level (Table 3). Environmental conditions were
the same as Expts. 1 & 2. Best plants were produced when watered twice
weekly, fertilized only once every 4 weeks and no supplemental calcium
supplied. Soluble salts were determined immediately after fertilization
which accounts for the high levels.

Professor, Plant Physiology and Professor, Ornamental Horticulture -
Center Director, Agricultural Research Center, Apopka, respectively.

Staghorn Ferns might benefit from the addition of boron, iron and
molybdenum but caution should be exercised when supplying these materials.
Information presented shows that Staghorn Ferns appear to require minimal
fetilization. One to two grams of 19-6-12/4 inch pot or 100 ppm N applied
weekly would probably produce maximum growth. A pH of 5-6 appears to be
best for growth of Staghorns.

Additional References

1. Conover, C. A. and R. T. Poole. 1976. Light and fertilizer recommenda-
tions on production of foliage stock plants and acclimatized potted
plants. Univ. of Fla. ARC-A Res. Rept. RH-76-6.

2. Conover, C. A. and R. T. Poole. 1977. Influence of potting media and
fertilizer source and level on growth of four foliage plants on
capillary mats. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 90:316-318.

3. Conover, C. A. and R. T. Poole. 1977. Influence of irrigation method
and fertilizer source and level on growth of four foliage plants. Proc.
Fla. State Hort. Soc. 90:312-313.

4. Morgan, D. L. and B. W. Hipp. 1979. Nitrogen requirements for
Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott 'Rooseveltii'. HortScience 14(5):619-

5. Poole, R. T. and C. A. Conover. 1973. Influence of shade, N and K
levels on production and elemental composition of leatherleaf fern.
Proc. Trop. Reg., Amer. Soc. Hort Sci. 17:385-388.

6. Poole, R. T. and C. A. Conover. 1973. Influence of dolomite and
micronutrients on yield of leatherleaf fern. Proc. Fla. State Hort.
Soc. 86:372-374.

7. Poole, R. T. and C. A. Conover. 1978. Fertilization of Maidenhair
fern, Adiantum pedatum K. Presl. HortScience 13(2):176-177.

8. Poole, R. T., C. A. Conover and D. B. McConnell. 1978. Spore propaga-
tion and production of the Hawaiian Tree Fern, Cibotium glaucum (Sin.)
Hook and Am. Proc. Trop. Re., Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 22:In Press.

9. Poole, R. T.. and C. A. Conover. 1983. Fertilization of Bird's-nest
Fern. Univ. of Fla. ARC-A Res. Rept. RH-83-18.

Table 1. Influence of micronutrients applied 9/8/82
graded 12/15/82.

to Staghorn Fern

2 Avg. frond length Plant1
Element oz/1000 ft (in) 2 longest grade

-- 4.0 2.6
Boron 0.007 5.0 3.1
Copper 0.07 4.0 2.6
Iron 0.7 4.6 3.6
Manganese 0.35 3.4 1.8
Molybdenum 0.007 4.6 3.3
Zinc 0.20 4.0 2.4

1 = poor, 5 = excellent

Table 2. Influence of dolanite and Osmocote applied 9/13/82 to Staghorn

October 7, 1982 December 15, 1982
Osmocote Dolanite Leachate
19-6-12 lbs/yd"
g/4 inch pot incorp. pH amhos x 105 Avg.frond length Plant
surface appl. (in) 2 longest grade

1 0 5.0 980 4.9 3.7
3 0 5.2 1700 3.8 2.6
5 0 5.4 1590 3.5 2.3
1 5 5.8 790 4.9 3.7
3 5 5.8 1010 5.2 3.3
5 5 5.8 2000 3.7 2.1
1 10 6.1 850 3.9 2.8
3 10 6.1 940 4.1 3.0
5 10 6.2 1250 3.2 2.1

= poor, 5 = excellent

Table 3. Influence of liquid fertilizer, irrigation frequency and calcium
hydroxide applied 3/7/83 on Staghorn Fern.

April 28, 1983 May 25, 1983

No. Fertilizer Ca(OH) Leachate Avg.frond
irrigation/ frequency 1 g/liter -5 length (in) Plant
week 400 ppm N 50 ml/pot pH mmhos xl0 2 longest grade

1 1/4 wk2 0 5.3 2900 15 3.2

1 1/4 wk + 5.1 3650 20 3.5

1 1/wk3 0 5.8 3267 18 2.2

1 l/wk + 5.7 3367 14 2.5

2 1/4 wk 0 4.9 3300 28 4.2

2 1/4 wk + 5.6 2880 17 2.5

2 l/wk 0 3.8 3600 20 3.0

2 1/wk + 5.3 3567 22 3.2

1 = poor, 5 = excellent

fertilized once every 4 weeks

Fertilized weekly

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