As an epiphyte, or air plant, a staghorn fern and the smaller, more slimline elkhorn fern will grow just about anywhere. Providing you can establish a sufficient base for them, such as a timber board or sturdy tree, they will take water and nutrients from the air and surrounds, making them a versatile and portable choice to add a pop of lush greenery to your balcony, back fence or courtyard walls.
Best kept slightly dry in cold weather, a weekly soaking and the odd handful of leaf matter (in the absence of surrounding trees) or a banana peel cut up and popped in the top is all they need to grow and flourish.
We love their angular, sculptural shape, with new leaves jutting from a central core that appears somehow prehistoric in form - and the way they tend to loom, lush from above. The ultimate vertical garden, staghorns draw the eye upwards and take your garden out of the ground and onto your walls.
Not convinced? Look at these stunning examples:
1. Upright elkhorn
2. Well established studio companion
3. Small and sweet indoors
4. Epiphyte club
5. Jungle giant
6. Lean and lush
7. Getting started
8. Smooth against rustic textures
9. Potted Prince
10. Up close and personal
11. Hanging around
You might also like: