We used to imagine ferns, like plants with delicate leaves resembling a green veil. But among the huge variety of ferns there is one that does not fit this image at all. Its huge leaves are devoid of openwork grace, but no less attractive. They resemble sprawling antlers of a deer or even a moose! The name of this natural miracle is platicerium.
Platicerium: biological description
Platiceriums - a separate genus of ferns, in which there are 17 species. Extremely unusual external form has led to the fact that these ferns are often called the "deer horn" or "flat plate". Actually, the name itself can be translated from Latin as “wide horn”.
It is difficult now to say exactly where the historical homeland of this family is located. Many researchers call Australia in this capacity, although, apparently, its species have long since spread in the zone of tropical rain forests of Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
All Platiceriums are typical epiphytes: they live in trees, firmly clinging to the trunk of the host with tenacious roots, and as if “embracing” it with wide, dense leaves. These leaves are sterile, they only support the plant. In the upper part, sterile leaves form a characteristic funnel, where everything goes - from small twigs to dry foliage, insects and dead bark. All this mass gradually rotts inside the funnel, forming a nutrient mixture for platizerium.
Interesting! In nature, there were huge ferns, which accumulated inside the funnel to a centner of such a nutrient substrate!
Well, the legendary “horns” of platicerium are the spore-bearing leaves that any fern on Earth has. But even here the flower of the antlers stood out! Its spores do not form sori, like other ferns, but are simply scattered on the lower surface of the leaf, dyeing it in a slightly reddish color.
All species of platicerium live in tropical rainforests, which must be taken into account when keeping home. Each of the specimens can grow over the years, sometimes reaching impressive sizes.
In the indoor floriculture used only 4 species of these plants.
Platicerium double (Platycerium bifurcatum).
This type is most often found in the collections of amateur florist. And if people often argue on whose horns the leaves of the platicerium look like deer or elk, then in the case of this species the conclusion is unequivocal: elk. Its leaves are wide, rounded, divided at the edges into separate lobes. The upper part of the green leaves has a slightly bluish tint. Homeland species - forests of Australia.
Platicerium Angolan (Platycerium angolense).
It is often called flat-roofed. The leaves are inferior in size to the previous species, moreover, they are rather triangular in shape, the edges of the leaves are not dissected, but only slightly jagged. One of the most moisture-loving species, it is not easy to maintain it.
Platicerium large (Platycerium grande)
It is distinguished by large sterile leaves and elongated sporiferous wayas, up to half dissected into strips, resembling wide belts. These wai sometimes reach the meter length, and the "straps" hang down, giving the plant a high decorative effect.
Platicerium Hill (Platycerium Hillii Moore)
It is very reminiscent of a reduced copy of the two-platinum platinum. Its leaves are less dissected along the edges, often the segments are slightly pointed. Spores are not scattered over the entire surface, but are grouped into small oval spots.
Vayi plant has two types - sterile and spore-bearing. At the bottom of the fern grow sterile fronds, which retain the green color in autumn, and dry and turn yellow in spring and summer. A big mistake would be if you decide to cut them. These leaves are an important source of nutrition for the roots.
Sporiferous leaves begin to fulfill its main function late - it is necessary that the fern was at least five years old. These fronds are covered with white threads, which serve as protection from light and protect moisture.
More than 15 species of this epiphytic fern are known.
He came to us from the warm regions of Africa and India. And the most famous view is Platicerium bifillata (Platycerium bifurcatum)originally from Australia. Sterile leaves of this species are round, the radius of the leaf is up to 10 cm. Sporiferous fronds can grow above 50 cm in length. Divided into fractions up to 4 cm wide.
Platicerium large (Platycerium grande) also came to us from Australia. Sterile leaves are large, up to 60 cm wide. Do not dry out for a long time. Spore-bearing fronds are very large - up to one and a half meters. Almost half of the sheet, cut into long pieces.
Large flat skies are sometimes confused with Platiterium Superbum (Platycerium superbum). The difference between them is that the big one has two areas with disputes, and the superbum has one.
Platicerium Angolan (Platycerium angolense) It is interesting because its sporiferous fronds are not palchasye, and the fluff on them is orange.
Platicerium home care
Platicerium does not like the shadow. He needs bright ambient lighting. In the shade, the flower stops growing, and no spores are formed. But it should also be protected from direct sunlight in order to avoid leaf burns. Also take into account the shape of the leaves of your plant. If the fronds are narrow, then they need lighting that is stronger than wide.
This fern is absolutely not afraid of almost any temperature. In winter, for a short time, it can persist even at 0 ° C degrees. And in the summer withstands up to 37 ° C. But with great heat and requires increased watering.
The flat road likes high humidity in the room, up to 50%. It needs to be sprayed, but it is advisable to spray the space next to the flower, strongly spraying water.
Watering Platicerium is a stumbling block for many housewives. Often the fern dies precisely from an excess of moisture. Remember that the soil should be allowed to dry, and only then watered again. But the lack of water is also destructive. It is best to water the flower in the summer a couple of times a week. In winter, this procedure is reduced.
If you are going for a long time on vacation, then you should not worry about the fern - just put the pot in a container with a wet sphagnum.
It is forbidden to wash the leaves and wipe them, as this will damage the moisture-saving hairs. It’s best to just brush off the dust.
Fern soil should be slightly acidic. You can use a mixture of peat, sphagnum moss and leafy earth mixed with pine bark. Remember to use drainage - it should be required.
The roots of the platicerium are small, thanks to this transplantation is carried out infrequently - once a couple of years. You can often see that a flower is grown without a pot, just on a piece of wood.
To do this, a sphagnum is attached to the tree and nails are driven in to where the fern will be. On moss place platiserium and tied fishing line to nails. In order to water a flower with such cultivation, it is simply dipped into water so that the sphagnum takes in water. When the board becomes small for the platicerium, one more is attached to it.
Reproduction of platicerium
In general, breeding of the fern Placiterium is carried out with the help of offspring. To do this, select a process with at least three leaves. It is separated so that the appendix has a bud and a little rhizome, then it is placed in a container with loose earth.
It is rather difficult to multiply platicerium by spores, due to their long maturation. In adult plants (more than five years), spores are harvested and sown in moist, shallow soil (sterilized peat with sphagnum). Capacity covered with glass and kept under ambient lighting. Sometimes spray and air the seeds.
After two to six weeks, the young ferns should start cutting through. This seedling must be kept under glass and sometimes sprayed. Next, the flower will fertilize, and young ferns are formed.
Diseases and pests
- The main pest of the placiterium is shield. She loves the bottom of the sheet, but it is possible that the top
- Also fern can hit aphid, spider mite, powdery mildew.
- Tdark spots on leaves may occur due to fungus, which is a consequence of waterlogging.
- Brown spots on leaves arise from burns.
- If the leaves of platicerium wilted, then maybe you are not enough to water it.
- Fade fry from lack of nutrients.
- A slow growth of fern explained by a small pot.